Tag Archives: Jacques Monod

Lunch & Learn: The fruits of the Genome for society with David Botstein

helix.jpgIn the early 1980s, scientists began to wonder whether, with existing technology, we could determine the sequence of the human genome, that is, the sequences in the DNA that we pass on to our children. And would we be able to interpret the language of the Genome?
As it turns out, says David Botstein, that our estimates of the cost and the duration were just about right. And so, he pondered at the February 17 Lunch ‘n Learn seminar, just what did we get for the $3B spent to determine the sequence of the human genome?
We got not only the sequence of the human but also of 1000’s of other organisms, from yeast (12 megabases) and worms (100 megabases) through humans (3,300 megabases). The sequence of the human genome, the primary goal of the Human Genome Project, was achieved just a few years ago. Because our genomes are a string of 3 billion sequences of four chemical letters in the DNA polymer, the ability to obtain genomic sequences depended on revolutionary progress not just in DNA chemistry but also on the equally revolutionary advances in speed, capacity and versatility of digital computers.

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