Genetic Future

Archives for December, 2008

Look into the eyes of the PGP-10

Emily Singer has a fantastic article in MIT’s Technology Review reviewing the current state of play in human genomics. A curious highlight for me was this panel of mug-shots from the PGP-10, the 10 high-profile volunteers currently having their genomes sequenced as part of the Personal Genome Project: Top row from left: Misha Angrist, Keith…

Good advice for 11th graders…

xkcd has some good advice for high-schoolers: That goes doubly for anyone even vaguely interested in a career in biology, and particularly genetics – right now, even some basic scripting experience will take you further than any amount of pipette-wrangling. I wish I’d known this when I was back in high school… Subscribe to Genetic…

Sure is news to me – from popsci.com: Archon X Prize for Genomics Purse: $10 million Goal: Sequence 100 human genomes in 10 days for $10,000 per genome or less Status: ZS Genetics, which is developing an approach that replaces fluorescent tagging with decodable electron-microscope images of DNA, is a favorite to win. [my emphasis]…

Nature has a list of the top news stories of 2008, and “Personal genomics goes mainstream” comes up second: In January, an international consortium announced the launch of the 1,000 Genomes Project, which aims to provide a catalogue of human genetic variation. In October, the Personal Genome Project, which hopes to sequence and publish the…

David Ewing Duncan has a piece in Portfolio.com about Complete Genomics, a DNA sequencing company that launched back in October promising to offer whole-genome sequencing for $5000 by mid-2009. Complete Genomics is based on some allegedly powerful new technology (here’s a cartoon summary) developed in-house – I say “allegedly” because the company is yet to…

Yet another -ome

From a recent paper in Nature Reviews Microbiology, it’s probiogenomics! The human body is colonized by an enormous population of bacteria (microbiota) that provides the host with coding capacity and metabolic activities. Among the human gut microbiota are health-promoting indigenous species (probiotic bacteria) that are commonly consumed as live dietary supplements. Recent genomics-based studies (probiogenomics)…

Slender yield from fat gene studies

Willer et al. (2008). Six new loci associated with body mass index highlight a neuronal influence on body weight regulation Nature Genetics DOI: 10.1038/ng.287 Thorleifsson et al. (2008). Genome-wide association yields new sequence variants at seven loci that associate with measures of obesity Nature Genetics DOI: 10.1038/ng.274 There are two massive studies now online in…

There’s a new paper in the American Journal of Human Genetics following on from the paper on the genetics of metabolic traits that I posted on earlier in the week. This study explicitly focuses on the population structure of the Finns, and includes these maps showing the correlation between geography and genetics within Finland and…

An article in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine takes a look at the sharing of genetic risk factors between type 1 diabetes and celiac disease, two reasonably common auto-immune disorders (affecting ~0.4 and ~0.1%, respectively, of individuals of northern European origin). Celiac disease is more common in type 1 diabetes…

Pharmacogenomics Reporter has a fascinating article (subscription only, I think) on the impact of individual gene patents granted by the US patenting system on the future of personal genomics. Essentially, the issue for companies conducting genome-wide analysis (including SNP chips or whole-genome sequencing) is that setting up licensing deals for each individual gene makes business…