The government-backed genome project could help find a cure for a deadly eye disease which is the leading cause of blindness in children.
Professor Graeme Black, strategic director at the Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, said it was a "very, very exciting development" in the search for a possible treatment for the condition known as retinitis pigmentosa or RP.
At the moment around 200 genes relating to the illness have been identified which if mutated can cause sight loss, but there are thought to be more than 500.
RP Fighting Blindness chief executive David Head said: "For people faced with blindness as a result of inherited retinal dystrophies, this is really important."
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