In 2001, we learned the sequence of our genome; now, we have amassed a vast amount of knowledge about what those sequences actually do
. Yesterday, the data from the ENCODE
project went live. [more inside]
The New Biology
- Eric Schadt's quest to upend molecular biology and open source it. (via
"The ability to design and create new forms of life marks a turning-point in the history of our species and our planet."
- Freeman Dyson, on the J.C. Venter Institute's creation of a cell controlled by a synthetic genome. We are now in the business of engineering life.
Followup to this post:
A US District Court has ruled
that Myriad Genetic's patents on breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, which allow them to hold exclusive rights
to a widely used genetic test for inherited breast and ovarian cancer susceptibility, are invalid
. Genomics Law Report analyzes the ruling
in two posts
. The decision is likely to be challenged in a legal appeal — but if upheld, it could have huge implications for the biotechnology industry. [more inside]
I.B.M. Joins Pursuit of $1,000 Personal Genome
The target is remarkable given that the original Human Genome Project
successfully sequenced the first genome less than ten years ago and cost roughly $500 million to $1 billion. Advances in sequencing technology puts Moore's Law to shame: "In the last four to five years, the cost of sequencing has been falling at a rate of tenfold annually, according to George M. Church, a Harvard geneticist. In a recent presentation in Los Angeles, Dr. Church said he expected the industry to stay on that curve, or some fraction of that improvement rate, for the foreseeable future.
" [more inside]
DNA used to ascertain race of unidentified serial killer.
Florida company DNAPrint Genomics claims their test can identify the race (ie, African, Caucasian, East Asian or American Indian) of a person from their DNA. CEO Tony Frudakis says
that "of over 2,200 blind samples tested, the test is yet to get one wrong."