2009 September

People Who’ve Had Their Genomes Sequenced

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted September 21, 2009 in DNA in General

Trying to compile a list of people who’ve had their genome sequenced and announced it publicly:

  1. Craig Venter
  2. James Watson
  3. Stephen Quake
  4. George Church
  5. Marjolein Kriek
  6. Hermann Hauser
  7. Han Chinese
  8. Seong-Jin Kim
  9. Korean AK1
  10. Yoruban African NA18507
  11. 14 others sequenced by Complete Genomics
  12. Unknown number sequenced by Knome
  13. 6 genomes sequenced at high depth by the 1000 Genomes Project
  14. 180 genomes sequenced at low coverage by the 1000 Genomes Project
  15. Two acute myeloid leukemia patients

Know any I’ve missed?

Please see the comments for more links.

Sources: Technology Review, Nature 2009 Aug 20; 460(7258):1011-5

Last edited 22 September 2009



Medical Ghostwriting

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted September 11, 2009 in Jobs Involving DNA

Guess I won’t be making this my next career move….ghost

In the scientific literature, ghostwriting usually refers to medical writers, often sponsored by a drug or medical device company, who make major research or writing contributions to articles published under the names of academic authors.

The concern, the researchers said, is that the work of industry-sponsored writers has the potential to introduce bias, affecting treatment decisions by doctors and, ultimately, patient care.

Ghostwriting Widespread in Medical Journals, Study Says – NYTimes.com

In February 2009, PLoS Medicine featured a debate on the same topic:

What should be done to tackle ghostwriting in the medical literature?

Given that I’ve lived in Asia for most of the past 10 years (with the exception of 2+ years in the UK), I know firsthand how important ghostwriters and editors are for researchers whose first language is not English. I don’t think the issue is whether ghostwriters or medical writers should or should not be allowed to help researchers formulate grammatical sentences and put together coherent papers. Ethical issues arise when the ghostwriters are paid for by pharmaceutical companies or others with a vested interest in seeing particular results. Therefore, the requirement that authors declare competing interests should be adequate disclosure that applies to all listed in the paper where case ghost/medical writers could be listed in the acknowledgements.

Maybe I’ll keep my options open after all….

via The Tree of Life



Personal Update – Social Media at Human Genome Organisation

by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted September 6, 2009 in Business of DNA, DNA in General

The pace around here at Eye on DNA is still nothing like it was before I went on maternity leave last June. But I have another great reason for continuing to neglect this space.

Current Company LogoSince the start of my first personal blog in 2003, I have been an enthusiastic believer in the power of social media. When I began science blogging in 2005, I truly understood the importance of citizen media for informing, sharing, and inspiring.

This month I made another move into social media and began working at Soho Square as social media editor. At the same time, I became social media consultant to the Human Genome Organization (HUGO) which many of you know as the folks in charge of gene nomenclature.

But HUGO is more than just nomenclature, the Organization’s mission statement:

  • to investigate the nature, structure, function and interaction of the genes, genomic elements and genomes of humans and relevant pathogenic and model organisms;
  • to characterise the nature, distribution and evolution of genetic variation in humans and other relevant organisms;
  • to study the relationship between genetic variation and the environment in the origins and characteristics of human populations and the causes, diagnoses, treatments and prevention of disease;
  • to foster the interaction, coordination, and dissemination of information and technology between investigators and the global society in genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, systems biology, and the clinical sciences by promoting quality education, comprehensive communication, and accurate, comprehensive, and accessible knowledge resources for genes, genomes and disease; and,
  • to sponsor factually-grounded dialogues on the social, legal, and ethical issues related to genetic and genomic information and championing the regionally-appropriate, ethical utilization of this information for the good of the individual and the society.

To help accomplish the above, I will be assisting HUGO in setting up a blog as well as fostering an online (leading to a more active offline) community. I will have more news in the days to come. Meanwhile, please join us at the following:

Thanks for your support!



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