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Reading and writing genomes

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 ( in a globally shareable, unrestricted form ( 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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Church, G. Reading and writing genomes. Genome Biol 11 (Suppl 1), I2 (2010).

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