The $1,000 Genome: The Revolution in DNA Sequencing and the New Era of Personalized Medicine

Overview

"The great impact of a new technology---from cotton underwear to the jet to the computer---comes not when it is invented, but when it becomes cheap enough to be within the reach of everybody. Gene sequencing has now reached that point. With unrivaled knowledge of the people who made this possible, Kevin Davies eloquently explains how it came about and hints at what will come next."---Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist" "The year 2010 marked the tenth anniversary of the first public declaration of the cracking of the human genome. What

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The $1,000 Genome: The Revolution in DNA Sequencing and the New Era of Personalized Medicine

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Overview

"The great impact of a new technology---from cotton underwear to the jet to the computer---comes not when it is invented, but when it becomes cheap enough to be within the reach of everybody. Gene sequencing has now reached that point. With unrivaled knowledge of the people who made this possible, Kevin Davies eloquently explains how it came about and hints at what will come next."---Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist" "The year 2010 marked the tenth anniversary of the first public declaration of the cracking of the human genome. What once took a decade and billions of dollars can now be produced routinely in just over a week for $10,000 and falling. It has already reached the point of another week, another genome, a routine event that is rapidly moving from the early adopters and pioneers into the hands of anybody who wants it. It's hard to know what is the more remarkable: how routine affordable genome sequencing has become, or how much faster and cheapter the technology can go." "In 2000, President Bill Clinton signaled the completion of the Human Genome Project at cost in excess of $2 billion. A decade later, the price for any of us to order our own personal genome sequence---a comprehensive map of the 3 billion letters in our DNA---is rapidly and inevitably dropping to just $1,000. Dozens of men and women---scientists, entrepreneurs, celebrities, and patients---have already been sequenced, pioneers in a bold new era of personalized genomic medicine. The $1,000 genome has long been considered the tipping point that would open the floodgates to this revolution." "Do you have gene variants associated with Alzheimer's or diabetes, heart disease or cancer? Which drugs should you consider taking for various diseases, and at what dosage? In the years to come, doctors will likely be able to tackle all of these questions---and many more---by using a computer in their offices to call up your unique genome sequence, which will become as much a part of your medical record as your blood pressure. Indeed, many experts are advocating that all newborns have a complete genome analysis done so that preventive measures and preemptive medicine can begin early in life." "How has this astonishing achievement been accomplished? And what will it mean for our lives? To research the story of this unfolding revolution, critically acclaimed science writer Kevin Davies has spent the past few years traveling to the leading centers and interviewing the enterpreneurs and pioneers in the race to achieve the $1,000 genome. He vividly brings to life the extraordinary drama of this grand scientific achievement, revealing the masterful ingenuity that has transformed the process of decoding DNA and delivering the information it possesses to the public at large." "Davies also profiles the future of genomic medicine and thoughtfully explores the many pressing issues raised by the tidal wave of personal genetic information. Will your privacy be protected?" "Will you be pressured, by insurance companies or by your employer, to get your genome sequenced? What psychological toll might there be to discovering you are at risk for certain diseases like Alzheimer's? And will the government or the medical establishment come between you and your genome?" One thing that is not in question is that we are moving swiftly into the personalized medicine era, and The $1,000 Genome is an essential guide to this brave new future.

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Editorial Reviews

Matt Ridley
&'grave;The great impact of a new technology – from cotton underwear to the jet to the computer – comes not when it is invented, but when it becomes cheap enough to be within the reach of everybody. Gene sequencing has now reached that point. With unrivalled knowledge of the people who made this possible, Kevin Davies eloquently explains how it came about, and hints at what will come next.’’
Library Journal
How is it that less than a decade after the first human genome sequencing project was completed, anyone will shortly be able to purchase a personal genomic sequence for just $1000? Molecular biologist Davies (Cracking the Genome) discusses the path of human genomics from government project to commercial product, touching on ethical issues, medical uses, and the psychological implications of learning one's DNA results. The fascinating and clearly presented information is only slightly marred by frequent, unnecessary restatements of the text. Two-time Audie Award winner Johnny Heller reads with fluency and fluidly, even when faced with polysyllabic technical terms. For anyone interested in modern science, especially medical or ethical issues. ["An important overview," read the review of the Free Pr: S. & S. hc, LJ 9/1/10.—Ed.]—I. Pour-El, Des Moines Area Community Coll., Boone, IA
Library Journal
Davies (Cracking the Genome), editor in chief of Bio-IT World and founding editor of Nature Genetics, is well equipped to explain the uncertainties and ambiguities of Direct to Consumer (DTC) genetic testing. Prices of DNA chips and "next generation" sequencing technologies continue to plummet and produce more data than anyone knows fully what to do with. Davies describes the technologies and people behind personal genomics and sequencing companies and reports his own DNA test results, which even he struggles to understand. Ironically, while overwhelmed with data, we need even more—too many people take drugs that are ineffective or toxic to them. Personalized medicine offers the promise of faster, cheaper, more definitive clinical trials. Davies asserts that there is an increasing need for informed public debate because of difficult questions of privacy and other ethical issues and the need for more nuanced understanding of genetics and the challenges and limitations of risk assessment. VERDICT Recommended for all interested readers. This won't be the last word, but it's an important overview for now.—Mary Chitty, Cambridge Healthtech Lib., Needham, MA
From the Publisher
"Johnny Heller reads with fluency and fluidly." —-Library Journal Audio Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416569596
  • Publisher: Free Press
  • Publication date: 9/7/2010
  • Pages: 339
  • Sales rank: 740,507
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author


Kevin Davies, Ph.D., is the author of Cracking the Genome and editor in chief of Bio-IT World, a monthly magazine covering enabling technology in the life sciences.

Johnny Heller has narrated some five hundred books and garnered a bunch of swell awards and accolades, including Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Awards, Audie Awards and nominations, AudioFile Earphones Awards, and selection as one of AudioFile magazine's Top 50 Narrators of the 20th Century.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Jim and Craig's Excellent Adventure 15

Chapter 2 23 and You 30

Chapter 3 Everybody Wants to Change the World 54

Chapter 4 DNA Dreams 79

Chapter 5 The British Invasion 102

Chapter 6 Service Call 116

Chapter 7 My Genome and Me 137

Chapter 8 Consumer Reports 158

Chapter 9 Cease and Desist 180

Chapter 10 Another Week, Another Genome 206

Chapter 11 The 15-Minute Genome 231

Chapter 12 Personalized Response 248

Chapter 13 The Rest of Us 264

Notes 287

Acknowledgments 325

Index 327

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