Tibet's spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, met some compatriots in the United States this month — to discuss DNA sequencing. The Buddhist leader dropped in on the Whitehead Institute/MIT Center for Genome Research during a visit to Boston, Massachusetts.
Some 20 Tibetans work at the Whitehead, making them the largest ethnic-minority group involved in the Human Genome Project, about 10 per cent of the workforce. It started when director Eric Lander, looking for careful people with some scientific background, recruited former milk-factory inspector Nyime Norbu in 1991.
Like their Buddhist leader, the Tibetan genome-sequencers left their homeland after the Chinese took power.
Reference: Nature 425, 335 (2003)