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Public Health
KUNR Public Radio is a proud partner in the Mountain West News Bureau, a partnership of public media stations that serve Nevada, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico and Wyoming. The mission is to tell stories about the people, places and issues of the Mountain West.

Groundbreaking Genetic Study Expands in Nevada

Healthy Nevada Project

Nevadans are taking part in a groundbreaking genetic study that could give researchers insights into public health across the state.

Nearly 50,000 Nevadans have already taken part in the Healthy Nevada Project. Now the study is expanding statewide, making it one of the largest of its kind in the world. Participants donate saliva in exchange for their DNA information. Joseph Grzymski is the principal investigator for the project.

“Those results have the potential if they follow the guidelines to improve their outcomes, because early detection saves lives,” he says. “That’s just well known.”

For example, if they have a genetic risk of developing cancer or high cholesterol. Over time, researchers hope to gather enough data to answer bigger questions about overall population health.

“Why do some people develop disease when they’re exposed to bad air quality and other people don’t? We need lots of data to do that,” he says.

The project began in 2016. So far, it’s only been open to residents across northern Nevada. Now researchers are opening an additional 25,000 slots for people in southern Nevada to take part in the study.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.