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About Sequencing & Genomics


An organism's genome refers to all the hereditary information encoded in its genes. Sequencing a complete genome, a gene, or a fragment of genetic material involves determining the order of its sub-units: adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine.

Scientists are using individuals' genetic sequences to map and catalog human genetic variation in order to improve understanding of human biology, disease susceptibility, and drug response. As costs falls rapidly, the scale and speed of gene sequencing is increasing. The Human Genome Project required thirteen years and $3 billion to sequence the first complete, general human genome. Subsequent projects, such as the International HapMap Project, examined genetic variation between population groups, raising concerns of giving undue biological significance to social categories of race.

Now, the sequencing of complete genomes of specific individuals is becoming almost routine. For example, the Personal Genome Project plans to sequence 100,000 genomes.

Lower prices have also opened the door to companies that offer personal, direct-to-consumer genetic tests.


The Vagina Bio-Hack That Wasn’t: How Two “Startup Bros” Twisted and Took Credit for a Young Woman’s Companyby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesNovember 25th, 2014When news broke last week that two male CEOs wanted to make women’s vaginas smell like peaches, there was a well-deserved backlash. Now, it turns out the project they announced wasn’t even theirs, and they got it all wrong.
Massive Man Versus Mouse Genome Project Publishes Resultsby Katie HoweBioNewsNovember 24th, 2014A comprehensive international study has revealed striking similarities as well as some significant differences in the regulation of mouse and human genomes.
The Problematic Hunt for a ‘Gay Gene’by Samantha AllenThe Daily BeastNovember 20th, 2014Another week, another study declaring the hunt for the ‘gay gene’ over. Why are we so hung up on a biological answer for homosexuality?
The FBI Is Very Excited About This Machine That Can Scan Your DNA in 90 Minutesby Shane BauerMother JonesNovember 20th, 2014Rapid-DNA technology makes it easier than ever to grab and store your genetic profile. G-men, cops, and Homeland Security can't wait to see it everywhere.
Bill to Have All Russians Fingerprinted and DNA Profiled Submitted to ParliamentRussia TodayNovember 19th, 2014MPs from the populist nationalist party LDPR have prepared and drafted a motion requiring universal fingerprinting and DNA profiling of all Russian citizens for reasons of security.
‘Platinum’ Genome Takes on Diseaseby Ewen CallawayNature NewsNovember 18th, 2014Disease sites targeted in assembly of more-complete version of the human genome sequence.
Discrimination Based on Genetics Could Soon be Illegal, and it’s Right on Timeby William Wolfe-WylieCanada.comNovember 18th, 2014As personalized genetic testing hits the mainstream, what companies do with that information is of growing concern.
Gene Therapy: Editorial Controlby Katharine GammonNature NewsNovember 12th, 2014Correcting the genetic error in sickle-cell disease might be as simple as amending text.
There May Be No Such Thing As A 'Longevity Gene'by Will DunhamReutersNovember 12th, 2014The genomes of 17 people ages 110 to 116 were sequenced to try to determine whether they possess unique genetic traits. The study did not identify a common genetic characteristic in them.
Many U.S. Doctors Wary of Genetic Testing: Surveyby Randy DotingaHealthDayNovember 12th, 2014A new survey of American physicians suggests that many may not support genetic testing in patients without a major family history of certain illnesses.
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