From the superficial to the very very deep…

Remember my daily forrays into msn.com?

Well, typical of my internet habits, after I completed my ASIC final I logged on looking for some easy reading.  Somehow the superficial coverage of random news relaxes me.  Amid the softball-caused deaths, a lake with a name 45 letters long, credit-card sized PCs, there was a rather interesting article that links directly to the content of my ASIC course.  The very catchy title of “99k to see your future”.  The topic: DNA sequencing.

It is now estimated that 20,000 genes have been discovered in the human genetic code. Some genes are connected to physical traits such as blue eyes; others help determine personality traits — whether you’re thrill-seeking or melancholic, for instance. Some genes, or collections of genes, can tell you whether you might develop breast cancer, heart disease or other conditions later in life.

My fellow ASIC’ers will surely appreciate the nuances mentioned here regarding the human genome.  I particularly liked the bit about how the extra 94k (beyond the actual cost of sequencing) pays for the ” encrypted key in a sterling-silver case engraved with the Greek words for “know thyself”.  Well, you are discovering your entire genome for heaven’s sake!

But the line of day? 

“Your DNA is not your destiny.”  Love it.

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terryman

Tiffany is twenty and a citizen of two and a third countries. She is firmly unscientific in her thoughts, preferring the arts even though she got better grades in science during high school. She is not exactly sure what she's doing at UBC (it must needs do with learning, growing?) but there she is. IR and French are her focus- but then again she is sort of unfocused in general.

3 Responses to “From the superficial to the very very deep…”

  1. Sonja

    I don’t think the *entire* human genome has been sequenced yet. The bits missing are highly repeated sequences that are part of your heterochromatin.

  2. Tiffany Pan

    I meant the article says that the technology sequences the individual’s entire DNA. Although I clearly don’t have a background in science!

  3. Sonja

    Hrmmm. I learned in my genetics class (BIOL 335) that sequencing a fair chunk of our DNA (the highly repeated sequences) has been technically unfeasible thus far. If this is true, it wouldn’t be accurate to say that the entire genome can be sequenced with the technologies we have available today. Maybe I’m being nitpicky, but I don’t think it’s fair to say you can sequence 100% of the genome if you’re only really going to sequence, say, 93% of it.

    Perhaps some more experienced geneticists (hint hint Dave Ng) could comment on this?

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