Thursday, May 31, 2007

James Watson's DNA sequenced

It took two months and cost "less than a million" (which I guess means close to a million) according to this NY Times article. He agreed to have the whole thing made public except for his apolipoprotein E gene that could give information about his susceptibility to Alzheimer's.

some interesting excerpts, including stuff about Dr. Venter's also recently completed genome:

"Both are diploid genomes, meaning that they include the DNA sequence in the chromosomes inherited from both parents, whereas the reference genome completed by the Human Genome Project did not capture these differences.

Some 3.5 percent of Dr. Watson’s genome could not be matched to the reference genome. One reason may be that the project scientists had to amplify human DNA by growing it in bacteria and may have lost many regions of human DNA that are toxic to bacteria, said Michael Egholm, 454’s vice president for research. The 454 sequencer skips the bacteria stage entirely and is free of this source of bias.

Dr. Venter said 454 would have assembled Dr. Watson’s genome by comparing short lengths of analyzed DNA to the reference sequence, so the company might not have detected any structural errors present in the reference assembly.

Dr. Venter said his new genome has been assembled from scratch. There were many more differences than he had expected, including in single units of DNA that were extra or absent. “It’s clear we have grossly underestimated the extent of human variation,” Dr. Venter said."

"Some scientists believe that it will be medically useful to sequence patients’ genomes when the cost of sequencing falls to around $10,000 or less. Dr. Egholm said that with improvements already under way, the 454 sequencing machine will soon be able to sequence a human genome for $100,000. The cost of sequencing has been dropping so fast in the hands of groups like 454 Life Sciences and Solexa Inc. that some technologists predict the $10,000 genome will be attained in a few years."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can you show me a link to watson's genome? how to search for it on GenBank or something?

I am looking for either his or J.Craig Venter's. Please let me know if anyone knows where to find them.

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