DNA databases are highly protected resources, because they contain the most detailed fingerprint that can be used to identify a person — from genetic predisposition to cancer, to paternity tests, to criminal histories. But apparently RNA databases, derived from large genome studies, can also be used to pinpoint a person’s identity, according to a new study.
Remember last year’s death-predicting longevity-gene study, estimating who is likely to live to 100 and who will not be so lucky? Well, the authors of the study have retracted their paper. But there’s a catch: They claim they were still right.
As soon as scientists began decoding the human genome, speculation started about an impending age of personalized genetic medicine. Health care Cassandras spun enticing yarns about a future where a patient's disease predispositions would be quickly and cheaply identified. And years after Craig Venter decoded the first human genome (his), the best we've got is a mail order service that guesses at your risk for Alzheimer's.
Now, a new gene sequencing device designed by Stanford engineer Stephen Quake may finally usher in the long predicted practice of personalized genetic medicine. By using a new refrigerator-sized machine to decode the DNA, Quake has cut both the cost and time of the process by at least a fifth.
The lively story of the race to sequence and control the human genome.
By Rebecca SklootPosted 01.14.2003 at 5:48 pm 0 Comments
The Human Genome Project was launched in the mid-1980s, and with it came a new era of science: One fiercely divided between those fighting for patents and profits, and those fighting for free exchange of information. In her new book, The Gene Masters, Ingrid Wickelgren tells the lively story of the race to sequence and control the human genome. In a style that's often elegant and exciting, she chronicles one of the most important scientific ventures in recent history with the right mix of action, drama, and good hard science.