Reading and writing genomes
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KeywordsStem Cell Immune Response Human Genome Global Health Pluripotent Stem Cell
The human genome draft published in 2004 was a milestone, but achieved at a cost of $3 billion it is inapplicable to diagnostics for global health. We have reduced the cost of sequencing by over a million times in the past six years. The next step is integrating Genome + Environment = Trait (GET) data on large diverse cohorts enabled by a new consent mechanism (http://www.personalgenomes.org) in a globally shareable, unrestricted form (http://evidence.personalgenomes.org). This includes time-series studies of microbiomes and immune responses to such microbes, allergens, vaccines and allele-specific expression in pluripotent stem cells. To move from correlations to causations and cures requires a similar million-fold improvement in DNA writing technology - via use of DNA synthesized on chips and Multiplex Automated Genome Engineering (MAGE). Applications include metabolic engineering and multivirus resistant cells.
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.