Genome Sequencing..

Thursday 24th May, 2007 at 3:51 pm 2 comments

Michael Richard has an interesting post on Celebrity Genomes.  He’s wrong but it’s an interesting write up.  He’s a bright guy and I make a point of reading his posts – he does some good research and often provides an interesting perspective.

The Human Genome Project and the research around interpreting the meaning of genes is a vast public endeavour and a large amount of public funds have been invested in the research.

The focus of time and energy should be related to their scientific merit – rather than “Celebrity Status”.  Isn’t it better to spend 1 million USD on research targeted towards illness and disease than polishing somebodies vanity?  After all – the money could have paid the salary of 25 researchers for 1 year (reference: http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/11/13/business/biotech.php )

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Michael G.R.  |  Thursday 24th May, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    Hi!

    It’s possible that I’m wrong. You always have to take that chance 🙂

    But I think that at the point we are, almost anybody’s genome will be tremendously useful and help us fill some of the holes in our ability to interpret the genetic material, and by the time we’re done exhausting a 1/1000th of what we can learn from these genomes, we’ll be able to sequence a lot more very easily and cheaply.

    Of course it’s better to go with what is best for the science, but I don’t think it’ll make a big difference if the first 10 or 50 genomes are those of scientists instead of non-scientists. All new technologies follow that curve of adoption: At first it’s very expensive, doesn’t work very well and only the rich can afford it. Soon enough, it works better and is less expensive, and after a while it ends up being almost free and works great. It’s unfair that the rich had airbags in their cars before those most at risk of accidents or those with unsafe cars, but they did help test and pay for development of the technology, and the early versions of airbags were far from being as safe as the current ones.

    Maybe I should be more idealistic, but to me it’s the realpolitik of technological progress.

    Reply
  • 2. Michael Graham Richard  |  Saturday 26th May, 2007 at 1:01 am

    I’ve updated my post. You were right.

    Reply

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