September 17, 2011
Families That Sequence Together Get Better Results

Want more accurate DNA sequence results? Get your whole family sequenced at once. The family that sequences together stays healthy together? An article in MIT's Technology Review reports on a family that got their 4 genomes sequenced to learn more about their DNA.

In November 2009, the West family embarked on an unusual family project. Parents John and Judy and teenagers Anne and Paul each had their genomes sequenced, and enlisted a team of scientists at Stanford University to interpret the meaning of the combined 24 billion letters of DNA in those genomes.

Since the technology used to do DNA sequencing makes errors the errors are easier to detect if different copies of the same chromosome carried by siblings and parents get sequenced and compared.

By comparing intergenerational genomes, scientists can identify likely errors by looking for spots where the child's genome differs from the parents'. Last year, Leroy Hood and collaborators sequenced a family of four in an attempt to identify the genetic variations underlying a rare condition called Miller syndrome, inherited by the two children. They estimated that errors are 1,000 times more prevalent than true mutations.

Your cost per genome is going to be below $10000 and falling. In 2012 expect to pay below $5k per genome. Want to start at a lower cost? For a couple hundred dollars per person you can get about a million genetic variants tested and get interpretation reports for a year. I'm about ready to finally take the plunge on the DNA testing option.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2011 September 17 11:15 AM  Biotech Assay Services

PacRim Jim said at September 18, 2011 3:56 PM:

Get ready for hackers breaking into your computer and tinkering with your genome.
You might then undergo treatment based on spurious information.
(And don't think about storing it on the cloud.)

yawnbox said at September 18, 2011 7:13 PM:

23andMe has been an outstanding service. It made a big difference when I connected with the 23andMe social network (friends and family) -- it allows me to juxtapose all of that information with others, letting me better appreciate it all. After seeing my highly-probable disease risks and talking about those issues with my friends and family (and my doctor), I was able to make specific adjustments to my diet and lifestyle. Invaluable.

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