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The variome is the whole set of genetic variations found in populations of species that have gone through a relatively short evolution change. For example, among humans, about 1 in every 1,200[citation needed] nucleotide bases differ. However, as the human species diverged only 10,000[verification needed][citation needed] years ago, this variation rate is comparatively small. In practice, the variome can be the sum of the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the population. The Human Variome Project seeks to compile this genetic variation data worldwide. Variomics is the study of variome and a branch of bioinformatics.


The blend word 'variome' is from genetic variant (“a version of a gene that differs from other versions of the same gene which may or may not have an effect on human health”) and the suffix –ome (“the complete whole of a class of substances for a species or an individual”). ‘Variomics’ (which appeared in the literature before ‘variome’) was first coined by Professor Richard ‘Dick’ Cotton in 2002 to describe (“The systematic study of the effect of genetic variation on human health”). ‘Variome’ has since been most commonly used in reference to the ‘Human Variome Project’ founded four years in 2006 after ‘variomics’ was first coined.


There are a number of international project studying the human variome, including the International HapMap Project and the Human Variome Project (HVP).[1] The HapMap Project aims to identify and catalog genetic similarities and differences among humans. The HVP aims to collect data on all human genetic variation.

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  1. ^ Vizzini, Casimiro (March 19, 2015). "The Human Variome Project: Global Coordination in Data Sharing". Science & Diplomacy. 4 (1).


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