Craig Venter, Sequenced

Lookie here — they’ve sequenced Craig Venter’s genome. What did they learn about Craig? Well, he’s European. He has 46 chromosomes. He’s got some structural differences from the reference genome. Venter also differs from the reference genome by insertions and deletions.Like every other human, he’s got a boat load of repetitive sequences in his genome. And he differs from that reference genome in coding sequences.

Levy et al. 2007. The diploid genome sequence of an individual human. PLoS Biol 5: e254 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050254


  1. #1 Anne-Marie
    September 4, 2007

    I would have thought that a top candidate for a personal genome sequence should be Linnaeus, I would be interested to know how the genome of our species’ type specimen compares to the reference sequence.

  2. #2 Jonathan Badger
    September 4, 2007

    Unfortunately, Linnaeus didn’t make plans to preserve his body as a taxonomic specimen — instead it just rotted in Uppsala Cathedral.

    However, there are procedures to reestablish type specimens when the original is lost…

  3. #3 Anne-Marie
    September 4, 2007

    Oops, sorry, for some reason I assumed that it had been preserved, it seems like that should be a standard criteria when designating a type…

  4. #4 Mo
    September 5, 2007

    Shouldn’t that be “Craig Venter, Decoded”?

  5. #5 Amit
    September 5, 2007

    Ugh. I read the Nick Wade story about this in the NYTimes. Not to beat a dead horse, he keeps using the word decode/decoded when sequence/sequenced should be used.

  6. #6 Steven Salzberg
    September 7, 2007

    This paper was a real disappointment – disappointing because, as I blogged about here: http://genefinding.blogspot.com – there isn’t any new science in this paper. PLoS Biology is trying to establish itself as a competitor to Nature and Science, and if they want to be taken seriously, they shouldn’t let themselves be used for a publicity stunt like this. What all the press fails to acknowledge is that Venter’s genome was already published – it was the basis for the genome sequence published in Science in 2001 by the team led by Venter (I should know – I was on it). So both PLoS and the press are conveniently forgetting that so they can claim this is something “new.” Nonsense.

  7. #7 Bob O'H
    September 8, 2007

    This is confusing – I had assumed that the reference genome was Venter’s. Perhaps he has a particularly unstable genome.


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