Tutu's genes decoded and posted on internet
Published 18/02/2010 | 05:00
He has won the Nobel Peace Prize, campaigned for human rights and bared his soul in truth and reconciliation. Now Desmond Tutu has given something else to humanity: his genome.
Archbishop Tutu (78) has allowed scientists to decode his entire genetic make-up and to post it on the internet as part of a project to document the immense variety of DNA sequences that constitute the human species.
Archbiship Tutu was chosen because he is a typical ethnic representative of the majority South African population who speak one of the Bantu group of languages. His genome was decoded with those of three other southern Africans belonging to the Kalahari desert Bushmen, or San people.
The study, published in the journal 'Nature', found there is more genetic diversity between the southern Africans than between typical non-Africans from different parts of the world.
Vanessa Hayes of the University of New South Wales, a co-leader of the study said: "This research provides us with the tools to read the story of human evolution and, specifically, the story of disease." (© Independent News Service, London)