February 20, 2011

Quote: Walter Gilbert predicting personal genomics

I'm catching up on my reading this weekend. Right now I'm getting through Misha Angrist's "Here Is A Human Being" and getting increasingly jealous for every page. Angrist had his genome sequenced as a part of the Personal Genome Project, something I wouldn't mind having done myself.

I found this lovely 1992 quote from Walter Gilbert in the book. The number of bases of the human genome was pretty accurate even back in the early nineties.

Three billion bases of DNA sequence can be put on a single compact disc and one will be able to pull a CD out of one's pocket and say, "Here is a human being; it's me!"

This year marks the first decade since the "full" (more or less) sequence of the human genome was announced. But the advancements (and nightmarish visions) many expected still form an alluring horizon. One day, I want to be able to get my genome sequence out and say "Here I am; it's me!" Some people see all kinds of problems with personal genomics, but I can hardly wait for the day.

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