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About Sequencing & Genomics


An organism's genome refers to all the hereditary information encoded in its genes. Sequencing a complete genome, a gene, or a fragment of genetic material involves determining the order of its sub-units: adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine.

Scientists are using individuals' genetic sequences to map and catalog human genetic variation in order to improve understanding of human biology, disease susceptibility, and drug response. As costs falls rapidly, the scale and speed of gene sequencing is increasing. The Human Genome Project required thirteen years and $3 billion to sequence the first complete, general human genome. Subsequent projects, such as the International HapMap Project, examined genetic variation between population groups, raising concerns of giving undue biological significance to social categories of race.

Now, the sequencing of complete genomes of specific individuals is becoming almost routine. For example, the Personal Genome Project plans to sequence 100,000 genomes.

Lower prices have also opened the door to companies that offer personal, direct-to-consumer genetic tests.


Google Wants to Create a Map of What a Healthy Human Body Looks Likeby George Dvorskyio9July 25th, 2014Called the Baseline Project, it's different from other mass medical and genomic projects in that it's seeking to collect much larger and broader sets of new data.
The Government Owns Your DNA. What Are They Doing with it?by Susan ScuttiNewsweekJuly 24th, 2014We may not be aware that many states have created biobanks funded by genetic material left over from our screening tests and our specimens may be used for purposes we do not fully understand.
Gene-Hunt Gain for Mental Healthby Sara ReardonNature NewsJuly 24th, 2014A new paper ties 108 genetic locations to schizophrenia, most for the first time; the largest-ever philanthropic donation for psychiatric research is announced.
Making Sense of the BRAINby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesJuly 24th, 2014As criticisms of the brain projects on both sides of the Atlantic ramp up, what lessons can be learned from the successes and failures of the Human Genome Project?
Sequenced in the U.S.A.: A Desperate Town Hands Over Its DNAby Amanda WilsonPacific StandardJuly 21st, 2014The new American economy in three tablespoons of blood, a Walmart gift card, and a former mill town’s DNA.
Bering Strait Theory, Pt. 6: DNA, Blood Types and Stereotypesby Alex Ewen Indian Country Today Media NetworkJuly 19th, 2014The use by geneticists of the pseudo-scientific classifications of American Indians has been unfortunate.
Race, Genetics and Voting?by Ian Haney LópezMoyers & CompanyJuly 18th, 2014Naturalistic assumptions about race mislead liberals in their effort to fathom race’s astringent power, shifting the focus from social dynamics to inherited essences.
Thousands of Scots Children Have Their DNA Stored on Police DatabaseSTVJuly 15th, 2014More than 35,000 DNA profiles of under-18s are stored on police computers. 251 of them from youngsters 13 and under, including two ten-year-olds.
New Challenges of Next-Gen Sequencingby Dan KoboldtMassGenomicsJuly 10th, 2014New bioinformatics victories were short-lived, as sequencing finds itself facing new challenges. Harder challenges. Here are a few of them.
Insurance Companies Shouldn’t Seek Genetic Test Results, Says Privacy Watchdogby Steve RennieThe Canadian PressJuly 10th, 2014Canada’s privacy watchdog is urging insurance companies and others to stop asking applicants for access to the results of genetic tests.
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