Genetic Future

Archives for August, 2009

Peter Aldhous has a great piece of detective work in New Scientist, which has revealed a bizarre and sporadic glitch in the online software provided by personal genomics company deCODEme to allow customers to view their genetic data. The glitch appears to be restricted to the display of data from the mitochondrial genome (a piece…

Complete Genomics is finally back on the road towards fulfilling its promises of $5000 human genome sequences, after delays in obtaining funding for a massive new facility pushed back its plans by six months. The $45 million in funding it announced this week will be sufficient to build the new Silicon Valley facility, which the company…

In the comments to a previous post defending big genetics, Andro Hsu relates an anecdote that warrants repeating: IIRC, at the December NIH/CDC meeting Francis Collins suggested that the way to get to the bottom of the missing heritability, the common disease common variant hypothesis, gene-gene and gene-environment interactions, etc. etc. is to run a population-wide,…

Dan Vorhaus has a great post in Genomics Law Report outlining recommendations made by a recent NIH-CDC workshop on the scientific foundations of personal genomics. The workshop included key stake-holders from academia, policy advisory groups and the personal genomics industry.

Over at Gene Expression, p-ter has a post up defending the “big genetics” approach, noting that large-scale hypothesis-free genetics studies have consistently yielded important results for follow-up detailed fine-scale studies. It’s a sound argument. I’ve argued in the past that many of the fears expressed about Big Genetics are overblown:

The Human Genre Project

A colleague just pointed me to The Human Genre Project, a growing collection of short writing (poems, short stories) assembled into the set of human chromosomes The quality is uneven, but some are genuinely moving, some are cute, and others convey the challenges and uncertainties of our genetic future. For the literarily inclined: I note…

Lamarck beat Darwin to the tree

A useful reminder for evolutionary biologists and science journalists, posted to the Evoldir list by Joel Parker: I have noticed many evolutionary biologists making an embarrassing mistake of falsely attributing the first use of the tree analogy to Darwin. This has occurred in numerous documentaries and on websites which I will pass on naming here. Ironically, the…

Mihaescu, R., van Hoek, M., Sijbrands, E., Uitterlinden, A., Witteman, J., Hofman, A., van Duijn, C., & Janssens, A. (2009). Evaluation of risk prediction updates from commercial genome-wide scans Genetics in Medicine, 11 (8), 588-594 DOI: 10.1097/GIM.0b013e3181b13a4f Caroline Wright from the Public Health Genomics Foundation has a concise post describing the results from a recent…

Most of the posts I’ve written recently have involved next-generation DNA sequencing in one way or another, which may have left some readers scratching their heads – keeping track of the different technologies, how they work, and their strengths and weaknesses is a challenge even for those immersed in this fast-moving field. Fortunately, help is…

A tweet from personal genomics company 23andMe (see screenshot below) sparked my interest: I knew 23andMe had been successful in recruiting Parkinsons patients as part of its targeted drive, and the 337 unspecified “patients” are the product of their broader recruitment drive for diseased genomes, Research Revolution (which I’ve dissected in a previous post) –…