“The $1,000 genome, the $1,000,000 interpretation”
Kevin Davies, Bio-IT World
Taking notes on a talk by a journalist is pretty much a bad idea. Frankly, it would be akin to reducing a work of art to a mere grunt. The jokes, nuances and elegance would all be lost – and if I were some how able to do a good job, it would have the nasty side effect of putting Kevin out of work when everyone spends their time reading my blog instead of inviting him to speak himself – or worse, instead of reading his book. (Alas, I haven’t read it myself, either.)
However, in the vein of letting people know what’s happening here, Kevin has taken the opportunity to review some of the early history of next gen sequencing. It’s splashed with all sorts of wonderful artefacts that represent the milestones: the first solexa genome sequenced (A phage), James Watson’s genome, the first prescription for human sequencing, etc.
More importantly, the talk also wandered into some of the more useful applications and work done on building the genomic revolution for personalized medicine. (You might consider checking www.jsonline.com/dna for one great example. Pulitzer prize winning journalism, we’re told.) Kevin managed to cover plenty of ways in which the new technologies have been applied to human health and disease – as well as to discover common human traits like freckling, hair curl and yes, even Asparagus anosmia!
Finally, the talk headed towards some of the sequencing centres and technologies we’ve seen here, including Complete Genomics, PacBio and a brief sojourn past Oxford Nanopore. Some of my favourite technologies – and endlessly interesting topics for discussion over beer. And naturally, as every conversation on next-gen sequencing must do, Kevin reminds us that the cost of the human genome has dropped from millions of dollars for the first set, down to the sub $10,000 specials. Genomes for all!