Genetic Future

Archives for January, 2009

Olivia Judson’s blog has a guest post by Aaron Hirsh that got me thinking about a topic that will be familiar to most scientists: the transition of research towards Big Science. Big Science basically includes any project involving a large consortium of research groups working together on a tightly-defined problem, usually with a very specific…

A very belated note to say that I’ll be hosting the 42nd Gene Genie blog carnival here this weekend. Gene Genie showcases the best of the blogosphere on any topic pertaining to genes and gene-related diseases. Due to the late announcement I’ll be accepting submissions up until Saturday night (whatever your time zone). Please submit…

Following the dramatic appearance of the field of personal genomics just over a year ago the major players in the field have worked hard to distinguish themselves from their competition: 23andMe has emphasised the intellectual joy of learning about genetics, and also attempted to actively engage its customers in the company’s research projects; deCODEme has…

The importance of confusion

Steven Pinker’s recent article in the NY Times is a rich source of insight into the field of personal genomics and the experience of personal genomics customers – if you haven’t read it already, you really should. This paragraph, for instance, seems to perfectly encapsulate the experience of the average intellectually curious personal genomics customer:

A press release today describes a potentially exciting partnership between two companies in the DNA sequencing space: Oxford Nanopore Technologies and Illumina. Illumina is an established player in the field, providing one of the most widely-used second-generation sequencing platforms (the Genome Analyzer, previously known as Solexa). Oxford, in contrast, is a young but promising contestant…

Steven Pinker in the NY Times

I’ll hopefully have more to say about Steven Pinker’s long and excellent essay in the NY Times later – but for now, go read it yourself, and then read John Hawks’ thoughtful comments.

New feed for the DNA Network

Some of you may have noticed that the RSS feed for the DNA Network has been down for quite some time. Hsien-Hsien Li from Eye on DNA has come up with a work-around. To re-subscribe to the Network, click here.

T. Hofer, N. Ray, D. Wegmann, L. Excoffier (2009). Large allele frequency differences between human continental groups are more likely to have occurred by drift during range expansions than by selection Annals of Human Genetics, 73 (1), 95-108 DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-1809.2008.00489.x I’ve just been reading over an article from late last year in the Annals of…

Sanger sequencing is not dead?

Daniel G. Hert, Christopher P. Fredlake, Annelise E. Barron (2008). Advantages and limitations of next-generation sequencing technologies: A comparison of electrophoresis and non-electrophoresis methods Electrophoresis, 29 (23), 4618-4626 DOI: 10.1002/elps.200800456 The dideoxy termination method of DNA sequencing (often called Sanger sequencing after the technique’s inventor, Fred Sanger) has been the workhorse of pretty much every…