Term in Focus : Human Atlas

What is the Human Atlas?

  • The human atlas is an initiative to enhance the holistic(complete) understanding of human biology.
  • The human atlas is a project that will collect, collate and integrate the molecular information on human tissues and organs.
  • This data will be collected by going through research articles/ works published by researchers all across the globe.
  • The idea draws inspirations from the success of Smart India hackathon. The Smart India hackathon is a nationwide contest that motivates students to take up engineering challenges to find solutions.
  • While the research is extensive, the work is large, unstructured and disorganized. It requires great effort and collaboration by the biological community to organize this research.
  • Once complete, this database project will help the researchers identify the gaps in the research work.

How will fund it?

The Human Atlas is a public-private endeavor which is funded by the Department of Biotechnology (A government body) and Persistent Systems (a private biotechnology company) who will invest Rs 13 crore and Rs 7 crore each respectively. The project is to be executed jointly by the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) and National Center for Cell Sciences (NCCS).

Human Protein Atlas

The Human Protein Atlas is a Swedish-based program initiated in 2003 with the aim to map all the human proteins in cells, tissues, and organs. This will be accomplished by the integration of various technologies. These modern technologies include antibody-based imaging, mass spectrometry-based proteomics, transcriptomics, and systems biology. All the information and research is open access. This allows scientists to freely access the data.

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