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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.


Precision Medicine is Coming, But Not Anytime Soonby Beverly MerzHarvard Health BlogMarch 26th, 2015New tests and treatments won’t leap directly from the lab to the clinic. The Precision Medicine Initiative also calls for a new regulatory framework to make sure that technologies aren’t launched before they’ve been proven to be safe and effective.
Genome Study Predicts DNA of the Whole of Icelandby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewMarch 25th, 2015Large genome databases are starting to reveal critical health information—even about people who have not contributed their DNA.
These Are All the Things That Could Go Wrong with 23andMe's Drug Development[Quotes CGS's Marcy Darnovsky]by Kari PaulMotherboardMarch 19th, 201523andMe announced plans to use its massive DNA database to develop new medical treatments, but experts question what that means for the people who have submitted their data to the company.
Universal Newborn Genome Sequencing and Generation Alphaby Ricki Lewis, Biopolitical Times guest contributorMarch 16th, 2015What might the future look like, as whole-genome sequencing of newborns ramps up?
California and your DNA: Is it a healthy relationship? by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesMarch 16th, 2015While every state across the country takes part in newborn screening, each state differs in how it handles the blood cards and the genetic information they hold. In California, those cards are stored indefinitely and potentially rented out for a broad array of uses.
How Identity Evolves in the Age of Genetic Imperialismby Eleonore Pauwels and Jim DratwaScientific AmericanMarch 13th, 2015The Silicon Valley brand of genetic determinism tells us there is a gene-hack to solve every “problem” — that DNA is just a code to personalize at will.
Get Genetic Testing and Cheat the System?by Robert KlitzmanCNNMarch 13th, 2015Many people undergo genetic testing on their own and pay out of pocket, allowing them to keep the result to themselves.
23andMe Adds On: More About The Gene-Test Maker’s Drug R&D Ambitionsby Alex LashXconomyMarch 12th, 2015"We definitely think genetics should be married with all the other info being tracked. That will come in time."
23andMe to Use Genetic Database for Drug Discoveryby Ron WinslowWall Street JournalMarch 12th, 201523andMe's new therapeutics group, led by a star drug developer, will have "the opportunity to look broadly through the database and not have a particular restriction to what we’re looking for."
Privacy and the 100,000 Genome Projectby Edward Hockings and Lewis CoyneThe GuardianMarch 10th, 2015As the Department of Health starts to draw a map of thousands of genomes, will it keep its promise to anonymize our data?
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