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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.


Personalizing Cancer Treatment With Genetic Tests Can Be Trickyby Richard HarrisNational Public RadioApril 15th, 2015Genetic tests also spot a lot of ambiguous information, and that can sometimes lead people into clinical trials that are wrong for them.
CRISPR Patent Fight Now a Winner-Take-All Matchby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewApril 15th, 2015Lab notebooks could determine who was first to invent a revolutionary gene-editing technology.
Colorado Bill Would Add DNA Testing for Eight Misdemeanor Convictionsby Noelle PhillipsThe Denver PostApril 14th, 2015Those who commit one of the eight misdemeanors are more likely to commit more violent crimes, said Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey.
A NASA Scientist Is Behind the 'My DNA Was Planted' Viral Craigslist Adby Kari PaulMotherboardApril 14th, 2015A Craigslist ad thoug​ht to be covert advertising is actually an experimental post that evolved into a form of performance art, according to the NASA scientist who created it
DNA Testing Is a Slippery Slopeby Russell SaundersThe Daily BeastApril 14th, 2015Money shark Mark Cuban set off a firestorm on Twitter after recommending blood tests for “everything available.” Genetic testing has value, but it’s not for commercial use.
California Unveils 'Precision-Medicine' Projectby Erika Check HaydenNature NewsApril 14th, 2015The $3-million state initiative will coordinate with a national effort to promote individualized patient treatment.
Genome Editing: Time to Ask the Tough Questionsby Silvia CamporesiThe Huffington PostApril 14th, 2015It is a bit disheartening that we seem not to have made any progress when it comes to governing science in 40 years, and that we refer to Asilomar as the exemplar of practice of governing science.
Prenatal Testing, Cancer Risk and the Overdiagnosis Dilemmaby Ainsley Newson and Stacy CarterBioNewsApril 13th, 2015Should we be reporting results if we don’t know whether those results have any potential to benefit the patient?
Genes Don't Cause Racial-Health Disparities, Society Doesby Jason SilversteinThe AtlanticApril 13th, 2015Researchers are looking in the wrong place: White people live longer not because of their DNA but because of inequality.
Reality Check: Is Sex Crime Genetic?by Emily UnderwoodScience MagazineApril 9th, 2015A new study suggesting that genes play a major role in sex crimes has skeptics concerned.
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