The Genomic Revolution
Have you used a DNA test kit? If you say yes, then you’ve taken the first step and joined the Genomic Revolution. You’re in good company with over 26 million Genome Explorers like you in the United States, who have their DNA data. Consider your results a rough sketch, though. Direct-to-consumer (DTC) tests read less than 1% of your DNA.
Really? Less than one percent? That’s right. Meg Hager, a genetic counselor for Mayo Clinic, uses this analogy; “If you lost your keys, you would start by looking in the three places you usually leave them. But if you don’t find them in any of those spots, you’ll look through the whole house. Meanwhile, DTC companies, such as 23andMe, stop their search after those three places.”
The next step in the Genomic Revolution will do something radical — sequence all of your genes and the regions in between — your whole genome. What will the vast, unknown regions tell us about a healthy life, enhanced abilities, and longevity? What will you do with all of your DNA in a Big Data set? How to protect it? Safely share it? To save a life, maybe your own?
It’s the era of our genome. The entrepreneurs at Veritas, a Genome Company, describe the next step in the Genomic Revolution as the Era of the Social Genome: “We anticipate the turning point will be the convergence of a WGS service in the $100-$200 range and consumer adoption reaching 1 million.”
They define the new era as: “Ubiquitous integration of your personal genomic information into key aspects of everyday life—healthcare, nutrition, and exercise; social interactions; finances; and business—coupled with the increased application of genetic engineering and synthetic biology.”
Read the full article for more about the “scope and pace” of the revolution and how people at Veritas imagine “the Era of the Social Genome unfolding.”
The image at the top is an iconic-style illustration of the minuscule nano-scale space of the nucleus where our chromosomal DNA resides. The four chemicals that make up the base pairs on DNA are circling the image; adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T).