Genetic Future

Archives for June, 2009

I’ve stumbled rather late across a very promising new blog on the experience of a consumer genomics customer, Fantastic Voyage. The blog is primarily written by Grant Wood, the senior IT strategist for a clinical genetics institute in Salt Lake City; the premise of the blog is that Wood will discuss his own experience of…

Harvard biostatistician Peter Kraft (co-author of an excellent recent article on genetic risk prediction in the New England Journal of Medicine) has just added an interesting comment on his experience of this week’s Consumer Genetics Show:

The buzz leading up to this week’s Consumer Genetics Show in Boston suggested that a major announcement would be made by the CEO of genomics technology provider Illumina, Jay Flatley. Illumina provides the most popular second-generation sequencing instrument currently on the market, the Genome Analyzer II, and has been making noises about moving into the…

Amway sells genetic tests?

From Emily Singer’s article yesterday in Technology Review: A number of companies offering direct-to-consumer genetic testing have cropped up in the past two years to capitalize on these advances, from 23andMe and Navigenics, which offer genome-wide scans to identify specific disease-linked genetic variations, to Knome, which offers whole-genome sequencing to the wealthy. Any doubts that…

Not my highlights, sadly – I would have loved to attend the Consumer Genetics Show but was curiously unable to get anyone to pay for my plane tickets… Fortunately for me, others have done a sterling job of covering day one of the meeting. The freshest coverage by far is coming in 140-character bursts from…

David Dooling has a great post that starts with the conference blogging issue, and then leaps off in a different but related direction – the curious double standard in the data release policies applying to large genome sequencing centres compared to other genomic researchers. As David notes, the advent of second-generation sequencing technologies means that…

A reader has pointed me to the latest issue of the American Journal of Bioethics, which is devoted to social networking and personal genomics. I’m still working my way through the many interesting articles, but for now I wanted to cover some useful points in the editorial (entitled “A Pragmatic Consideration of Ethical Issues Relating…

There has been some very interesting online discussion in a number of venues today about the topic of social media and scientific conferences. For those who missed my post yesterday, the discussion was sparked by an article in ScienceInsider reporting that Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory had produced a new policy on the use of social…

Regular readers of this blog will be well aware that we are currently in the middle of a technology-driven revolution in genetics, which promises both advances in our understanding of human biology and profound social transformation. As we move into the genomic era, developing familiarity with the basic concepts of genetics – so-called genetic literacy…

Genetic complexity

Razib from Gene Expression has a frankly heroic post up dissecting a recent paper on genetic variation around the FUT2 gene, which encodes a cell surface protein involved in the pathway that produces the ABO blood group antigens. The story illustrates some of the difficulties associated with extracting information about human evolution from genetic sequence…