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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.


The 23andMe Experience - A Lot of Knowledge is of Little Help?by Alison LashwoodBioNewsFebruary 23rd, 2015Those in favour see direct-to-consumer genetic tests as a way of engaging the public with science and making it fun, but there are problematic aspects, too.
US Regulators Try to Tame 'Wild West' of DNA Testingby Erika Check HaydenNature NewsFebruary 20th, 2015Experts, regulators mull how to foster technologies without posing undue risk to patients.
FDA Clearance of DTC Genetic Test Gets Mixed Reviewsby Ricki LewisMedscsape February 20th, 2015The US Food and Drug Administration authorized 23andMe to market a direct-to-consumer carrier test for Bloom syndrome.
Reading Our Genome is Tough, But Epigenetics is Giving Us Valuable Cluesby Marcus WooWiredFebruary 19th, 2015If the genome is a book, then the epigenome is like the post-it notes, dog-ears, and highlights that help you make sense of a particularly dense text.
Human DNA Enlarges Mouse Brainsby Elizabeth PennisiScienceFebruary 19th, 2015Researchers have increased the size of mouse brains by giving the rodents a piece of human DNA that controls gene activity. The work provides some evidence for how the human intellect surpassed those of other apes.
Internet of DNAby Antonio RegaladoMIT Technology ReviewFebruary 19th, 2015A global network of millions of genomes could be medicine’s next great advance, but important challenges remain.
Precision Medicine Has Imprecise Ethics by Craig KlugmanBioethics.netFebruary 18th, 2015Will precision medicine increase or decrease health disparities? Will having a certain genetic subtype of a disease increase or decrease stigmatization of the disease?
Beyond the Genomeby EditorialNatureFebruary 18th, 2015Studies of the epigenomic signatures of many healthy and diseased human tissues could provide crucial information to link genetic variation and disease.
Genes Tell Only Part of the Storyby Abigail ZugerThe New York TimesFebruary 16th, 2015Genes are seldom the whole story behind illness, and are possibly not even the sternest of the medical fates that control us.
Whole-Genome Sequencing Now Possible for IVFGenetic Engineering & Biotechnology NewsFebruary 12th, 2015Scientists have developed a whole-genome sequencing method that uses cell biopsies from in vitro embryos to scan for potentially detrimental mutations.
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