Scientists reach 10K mark in protein study

Scientists in Sweden are at the halfway mark in their effort to map each protein in the human body. The Human Protein Atlas project, mostly funded by the Wallenberg Foundation and launched in 2003, has now analyzed 10,000 genes and their proteins. And their efforts could lead to new ways to detect disease and create new treatments for cancer and other diseases.  As the Wall Street Journal notes, there are roughly 20,000 proteins created by the human body, and most have never been characterized.

The results also could be of great value for drugmakers as they struggle to find new products as patents expire on other blockbusters.

"Mapping the human proteins makes it possible to fully exploit the results from the human genome project," said Mathias Uhlen, program director for the Human Protein Atlas project.

"Together, mapping the human building-blocks at the genome and proteome level has the potential to transform modern medicine. Reaching this half way point is significant for the Human Protein Atlas project as it moves us a significantly large step closer to completion, which we anticipate to be in 2015," he adds.

- get the WSJ report