Genetic Future

Archives for November, 2009

A short but glorious rant

Misha Angrist has a very brief but eloquent rant in response to the genomics nay-sayers in this Nature News piece on the bankruptcy of deCODE Genetics. Here’s a taste: I agree: GWAS is of limited value and this probably contributed to deCODE’s demise. But whatever deCODE’s fate, if whole human genomes can be sequenced for…

Pharyngula, via a reader, points me to the most aggressively bad attempt at a genetic testing product I have ever encountered, coupled with a truly horrific attitude to parenting. The tag line alone is hilariously inept: “Our Technology Spawned from Human Genome Project led by US Scientists. The Industry is Featured by CNN, CBS News” The…

European Genetics and Anthropology has a neat little tutorial that may be of interest for genetic hobbyists: it provides instructions on how to run the program STRUCTURE on your own genetic data generated by a personal genomics company such as 23andMe or deCODEme.  STRUCTURE is an extremely popular tool among researchers working in population genetics,…

I was just sent this email by a deCODEme customer: As a valued subscriber to deCODEme, we wanted to write to you directly to let you know about some important developments in the company and how we believe these will underpin our ability to continue to keep you in the forefront of understanding what the…

Struggling Icelandic biotech deCODE Genetics has finally reached the point of formal insolvency. A press release today announces that the company has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in a US court: In a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware late on Monday, deCODE listed total assets of $69.9 million and total…

Added in edit: for superb analysis of the announcement from multiple angles, you should also check out Dan Vorhaus’ three incisive articles on Genomics Law Report. Personal genomics company 23andMe announced yesterday on its blog (and in an email to customers) of impending changes to its product line. Until now 23andMe has offered only two products: its…

Medland et al. (2009). Common Variants in the Trichohyalin Gene Are Associated with Straight Hair in Europeans. The American Journal of Human Genetics DOI: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2009.10.009 A couple of weeks ago I reported on a presentation by 23andMe‘s Nick Eriksson at the American Society of Human Genetics meeting in Honolulu, in which Eriksson presented data on a…

Yesterday I posted a brief rant about the need for researchers to think about the best way to return genetic research data to participants, spinning off an equally brief opinion piece I wrote for the ongoing ELSI series at Genomics Law Report. Today Dan Vorhaus has posted an excellent piece on the same topic over at…

My contribution to Genomics Law Report’s superb “What ELSI is New” series is up now. The gist of my argument: as we move into an era of large-scale whole-genome sequencing studies and the utility of genomic information grows, researchers will increasingly frequently be faced with the discovery of highly medically relevant information within their subjects’…

New-technology DNA sequencing provider Complete Genomics will provide near-complete genome sequences of 100 individuals to the Institute for Systems Biology, driving the first ever association study for a complex trait using whole-genome sequencing. Here’s the press release, and GenomeWeb has some additional information. This is pretty exciting stuff: