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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.


Why Genetic Self-Test Kits Should Not Be Allowed Into Canadaby Abby LippmanThe Globe and MailOctober 16th, 2014Policies and laws about discrimination, genetic and other, need to be developed from the ground up, based on views from an informed citizenry engaged in respectful public discussion of all the issues.
How Should the U.S. Regulate Genetic Testing?by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesOctober 16th, 2014The question, addressed at a conference at Stanford’s Center for Law and the Biosciences, is both complicated and critical.
Quest for Intelligence Genes Churns Out More Dubious Resultsby John HorganScientific AmericanOctober 14th, 2014The entire field of behavioral genetics has a horrendous track record, with a long string of sensational claims that turned out to be erroneous.
Giant Gene Banks Take on Diseaseby Erika Check HaydenNatureOctober 14th, 2014Researchers bring together troves of DNA sequences in the hope of teasing out links between traits and genetic variants.
Let's Play God (or not)by Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesOctober 14th, 2014Reason magazine earns points for honesty about wanting to use gene drives to "play God" — and for editing skills.
Genetic Testing for Alzheimer’s — Without Revealing the Resultsby Shirley S. WangThe Wall Street JournalOctober 13th, 2014Doctors are devising new ways to shield patients from information about their odds for developing inherited disease as genetic testing becomes more common.
The Genetics Epidemic: The Revolution in DNA Science -- And What To Do About Itby Jamie F. MetzlForeign AffairsOctober 12th, 2014The coming revolution in genetic engineering will be exciting to some, frightening to others, and challenging for all. If not adequately addressed, it will also likely lead to major conflict both within societies and globally.
How to Cope With a Positive Genetic Test Resultby Kristine CraneUS NewsOctober 10th, 2014There is help out there for people with a positive genetic test result, as well as something of a protocol for them to follow.
Gene Therapy Effective to Treat 'Bubble Boy' Syndromeby Pippa StephensBBCOctober 8th, 2014During a clinical trial, nine baby boys were given healthy versions of the faulty gene that codes for the disease, and eight were still alive 43 months later.
Controversial Genetic Self-Testing Kits Coming to Canadaby André PicardThe Globe and MailOctober 2nd, 2014Though U.S. FDA forbids sales of direct-to-consumer genetic tests for health prediction, regulators in Ottawa are working with California-based 23andMe.
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