By LAURA UNGAR
AP Science Writer
Scientists are setting out to collect genetic material from 500,000 people of African ancestry to create the world’s largest database of genomic information from the population. They hope to build a new “reference genome” to compare to full sets of DNA from individuals. Research shows less than 2% of genetic information being studied today comes from people of African ancestry, so the project could eventually translate into new medicines and diagnostic tests. The database is part of an initiative launched by Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee; Regeneron Genetics Center; AstraZeneca; Novo Nordisk; and Roche.