- The place where civilization began is neglected of DNA research that is much needed.
Let’s keep it real, no one wants to be excluded in something that they should be a part of. 54gene a recently established African genomics company in 2019 by Dr. Abasi Ene-Obong has come to the forefront of advancing and revolutionizing the African global genomics market. However, there is still a problem . Over 80% of the genetic material used by pharmaceutical research are from European descent, and this is where 54gene can fix that, and fast. First of all, there is a glaring issue here because this exclusion of DNA samples from Africa will hinder any new developments or breakthroughs for cures and treatments. Keep in mind if you don’t already know that Africans and people of African descent are genetically more diverse than any other part in the world populations, but they seem to use the European DNA as the default. For instance, Nigeria alone has 500 unique ethnic groups whose genetics span has been conserved for over a millennia. With that said, 54gene has the potential to collect 4,000 samples by the end of the year and 200,000 samples by 2020, most of the DNA data samples deriving from Nigeria and will eventually expand outward to other African nations. So there’s a lot of potential with 54gene taking initiative in gaining control and monitoring African DNA through setting up bio banks in for immediate research. Furthermore, I feel there could be some cons with all the benefits 54gene can bring, because on the flip side there is the chance that manipulation from European forces can arise. Reason being, Africa has to deal with it’s long and uncomfortable history of biomedical colonialism which resulted in foreign entities taking the continent over for it’s biological resources and all resources for that fact. And all of this was and still is done with no recompense, as usual. In addition, it goes to say this will demoralize the progression of establishing adequate biobanks. There’s no guarantee that all discoveries using African DNA will result in life saving medications/cures, but I believe that 54gene has their ambitions heading in the right directions. I’m glad a company like 54gene exists and has the potential to unlock new found discoveries that will enable African nations to flourish with improved health care provisions. The company is still young, but will grow to become a powerhouse in diverse genetic studies. As Kendrick Lamar once said “I got loyalty got royalty inside my DNA” and that is what Africans and people of African descent possess and it should not be neglected in further studies. That’s all I have to say for now, thank you for reading and as always peace and keep it real.