Genetics and Personal Genomics in The Boston Globe

Genetics and Personal Genomics in The Boston Globe

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted September 24, 2007 in DNA in General

dna basesThe Boston Globe’s Health and Science section has a number of stories about genetics and personal genomics today. Here are the excerpts.

Colin Nickerson looks at DNA unraveled, which is a sweeping overview of the current state of genetics.

But the picture now emerging is more complicated, one in which illness, health, and evolutionary change appear to be the work of almost fantastical coordination between genes and swaths of DNA previously written off as junk.

Peter Dizikes writes Gene information opens new frontier in privacy featuring Dr. George Church at the Personal Genome Project.

And yet, employers and insurers are not the only companies interested in genetics. The nascent industry of genetic diagnostics – in which companies offer at-home kits allowing customers to send off DNA samples for analysis – might not be restricted by [Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act] (GINA) or other laws.

In those cases, customers would need to read the fine print to make sure their DNA would not be sold to, say, pharmaceutical companies.

Carey Goldberg shares her perspective Of genes and motherhood.

Even when we each start carrying around our personal genome disks in our pockets, our data will differ from our children’s in thousands of ways. And even where our genes look identical to theirs, our bodies and minds could well differ, influenced by many other factors, including the portions of our DNA that don’t code for genes, our environment, and our behavior.

Andrew Rimas features Dr. Levi Garraway who trolls the genome for cancer clues.

“The big premise that underlies our work is that cancer is a disease of the genome,” says Garraway, 39. “What goes wrong in a cancer cell? The genome is deranged, the DNA is mutated. But embedded within those chaotic changes are answers.”

The Globe also has a list of The Genome 10, participants in the Personal Genome Project including DNA Network member Dr. Misha Angrist. Blaine at The Genetic Genealogist has more on the PGP-10.

Image: DNA bases represented by lit letters from Wellcome Images under Creative Commons.

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