Thursday, September 06, 2007

Dr. J. Craig Venter's personal genome published

This has been pretty big news -- the publication of Venter's genome begins the era of personal genomics. Venter had previously acknowledged that the Celera-sequenced human genome published in 2001 was 60% his, but this sequence is 100% Venter's. James Watson's genome has also been sequenced (he received a DVD containing the sequence during a ceremony in Texas back in May, but has not published the results).

There are lots of places to go on the Internet for information about this milestone. Start at PLoS Biology for their Editor's Summary and the paper itself. You can also download a poster version of Venter's genome, but be aware that the file is nearly 90Megs in size and if printed would measure 40 by 60 inches in size.

It's interesting that Venter chose to publish this paper at PLoS rather than Science or Nature -- PLoS is an open access journal and that may be behind the choice: the other two would require a subscription to gain access, plus Venter has said publicly that he is trying to calm fears about personal genomics. Some strong federal legislation preventing genetic discrimination (GINA -- Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act) would be a more comforting development, in my opinion.

If you want to muck around in the DNA sequences themselves, you can ftp it in winzipped chunks By the way, you can also download Watson's

Eye on DNA has a nice aggregation of news and blog posts about Venter's genome.

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