From Scientific American:
The number of sequenced human genomes will soon swell to more than 1,000 as part of a new international research consortium’s effort to trace the potential genetic origins of disease. But first the mother, father and adult child of a European-ancestry family from Utah and a Yoruba-ancestry family from Nigeria will join an anonymous individual as well as famous geneticists Craig Venter and James Watson as part of the handful of humans to have on record a complete readout of their roughly three billion pairs of DNA. And these six will also each have their genetic codes examined at least 20 times, providing 10 times the accuracy of existing genetic sequences as well as paving the way for the ambitious effort dubbed the 1,000 Genomes Project, which will comprehensively map humanity’s genetic variation.
The project will proceed in three steps, according to the consortium. The first, currently underway and expected to be completed by year’s end, is the detailed scanning of the six individuals. This will be followed by less detailed genome scans of 180 anonymous people from around the world and then partial scans of an additional 1,000 people. “If we look at about 1,000 individuals, we’ll get genetic variants in those samples that are somewhere around 1 percent or lower frequency” in the human population, says geneticist Lisa Brooks, director of the Bethesda, Md.–based National Human Genome Research Institute’s Genetic Variation Program.