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A Taiwanese company last week turned the spotlight on Asian genetic variability when it opened its laboratories in Taipei.

Vita Genomics — which was formed last year — will focus on single base variations in the genome that can be used as markers in studies to identify the genes involved in a population’s susceptibility to a given disease and its response to drugs.

Researchers elsewhere in east Asia hope that the company’s work will encourage the various governments to increase their efforts to use information on genetic variation to study diseases in the region.

Reference: Nature 416, 115 (2002)

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