Sunday, November 18, 2007

Personal Genome Reading


Gene sequencing efficiency is increasing at an exponential rate. Every 1.9 years, the cost to sequence a base pair cuts in half (Kurzweil, 2005, p73). What does this mean for you? Well, just about everyone alive today in first-world countries, and much of the rest of the world as well, will have their own personal genome sequenced. This will allow you to know a lot about yourself, but the most important things will regard disease. You can know that you are more or less likely to get certain diseases, and eat and get screenings appropriately. See this for an example of what one might find:
http://www.wired.com/medtech/genetics/magazine/15-12/ff_genomics_sb

As of this writing, November 18, 2007, the company 23andMe (https://www.23andme.com/) offers to sequence your genome for $1000. In two years it should cost half of that, and so on.

It can also tell you about your ancient ancestors. It's a fascinating new world we're moving into.

Pictured is an image of DNA. I wish it were rotating, but I can't find an animated one. A rotating DNA strand is a necessary part of any viewer-friendly interface involving life sciences!
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ViewerFriendlyInterface

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