Stanford bioengineer explores own genome

“I was curious about what was written in me,” said Stephen R. Quake, 41, who has devoted the past decade to building the technologies behind his Heliscope Single Molecule Sequencer. “I’m following the great tradition of scientists who experiment on themselves.”A decade ago, sequencing of the first-ever whole genome by the federal government took many years and cost $400 million to $500 million. Quake’s machine, the size of a freezer, sequenced his human genome in only four weeks, for $50,000. The procedure is expected to cost $10,000 by the end of this year.

Only a handful of people have seen their complete genomes and contemplated the consequences — physical and emotional. All were done by large genome sequencing centers, equipped with huge staff and hundreds of machines.

Now Quake has become one of the first 10 people to enjoy such an extraordinary, and unnerving, look into his own mortality. The findings were published in the current issue of the British medical journal Lancet. (…)

Wire – Are You Ready?

Are You Ready?

Are you part of the future
Part of the plan?
Are you willing and able
To do what you can?
Are you part of the problem
Or part of the band?
Are you willing to draw
A line in the sand?
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Loyal to your brand?
Are you smoking for China
Iraq or Japan?
Are you searching for something
You don’t understand?
Do you still hold ambitions
Of being a man?

Are you ready to live?
Are you ready to die?
Are you ready to live?
Are you ready to die?

Are you sickening for something?
Feeling unwell?
Are you drawn to corruption
In love with its smell?
Are you keeping a secret
Got something to tell?
Are you fighting for reason
Under its spell?
Are you dreaming of Heaven
Living in Hell?
Are you preaching for Jesus
For Apple or Dell?
Are you doomed to succeed
Are you happy to fail?
Are you facing extinction
The end of the trail?