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Reading and writing genomes

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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.

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Correspondence to George Church.

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Church, G. Reading and writing genomes. Genome Biol 11, I2 (2010) doi:10.1186/gb-2010-11-s1-i2

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Keywords

  • Stem Cell
  • Immune Response
  • Human Genome
  • Global Health
  • Pluripotent Stem Cell