Whole-Genome Sequencing: Any Useful Data?
I met George Church at this year’s Scifoo event in San Francisco and we talked about how useful the data is that was obtained from whole genome sequencing methods. There are almost 50 people in the world right now whose genomes were sequenced like that but the number of useful genomes is very low (e.g. who made it public) . That’s one reason why the ClinSeq project is really promosing.
ClinSeq is a pilot project to investigate the use of whole-genome sequencing as a tool for clinical research. By piloting the acquisition of large amounts of DNA sequence data from individual human subjects, we are fostering the development of hypothesis-generating approaches for performing research in genomic medicine, including the exploration of issues related to the genetic architecture of disease, implementation of genomic technology, informed consent, disclosure of genetic information, and archiving, analyzing, and displaying sequence data.
In the initial phase of ClinSeq, we are enrolling roughly 1,000 participants; the evaluation of each includes obtaining a detailed family and medical history as well as a clinical evaluation. The participants are being consented broadly for research on many traits and for whole-genome sequencing. Initially, Sanger-based sequencing of 300-400 genes thought to be relevant to atherosclerosis is being performed, with the resulting data analyzed for rare, high-penetrance variants associated with specific clinical traits.
He also mentioned the 1000$ genome project and the unofficial estimation is that now it’s possible to sequence a person’s genome for under 5000$ and the 1000$ aim can become a reality at the end of this year.