AUG 22, 2013 10:00 AM PDT

FarGen - a holistic genomic health approach


The FarGen project aims to sequence the whole genome of the entire Faroese population. Together with existing genetic records, such a comprehensive sequencing project can significantly improve treatment and prevention services in the Faroese public health system. The project has also great potential in an international research context as it can contribute significantly to our general understanding of human genetics. An understanding of genetics has proved crucial in health systems of the future, and genetic studies are already being used in Faroese health system. And with the introduction of the Human Genetics Act and the Genetic Biobank in 2006, the stage was set for a thriving genetic research environment in the Faroe Islands. The digitalisation of the Faroese genome, combined with the extensive health records in the Faroese health system, will significantly boost our general understanding of health issues, resulting in improved treatment and prevention services in the Faroe Islands. Thanks to our coherent health system, our special legislation (the Human Genetics Act), our digital public health register, and not least our digitalised genealogy records, the FarGen project has attracted a great deal of interest from international researchers. With these unique features, the Faroe Islands may well the ideal place for incorporating genetic research into the public health system. Both education and the ELSI play a significant role in a nationwide project like the FarGen and parallel to the sequencing a educational system for both health staff, school and the general public is been developed.

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