February 5, 2021  |  Podcast

Podcast: Reference genome making major strides in ethnic diversity, says Valerie Schneider, NCBI

Valerie Schneider of the National Center for Biotechnology Information discuss how the Genome Reference Consortium (GRC) is bringing more ethnic diversity to the latest human reference assembly (GRCh38) by adding patches and alternate loci scaffolds. Scientists working with population graphs are among the early adopters of these new alternate loci scaffolds. She also discusses work underway at the McDonnell Genome Institute at Washington University to generate a set of high-quality, de novo whole genomes from a wide variety of populations. The new ethnic genomes “are also intended to stand on their own as complements to the reference so users can examine variation for their own samples in the context of these different backgrounds, or they can try to get genome-wide views of different populations,” Schneider says.

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