Ten years ago, it cost billions of dollars to map a single human genome. Today, about $20,000 and likely to get even cheaper. If the average consumer can to have her own genetic map drawn up, what will it mean for medicine and how we approach our health care?
early 2008, Henry Louis Gates Jr. stepped his at LaGuardia Airport and began the process of having an elaborate set of blueprints drawn up: the map of himself, his entire human genome. The Harvard professor of Afican American studies had at the time just hosted successful miniseries, Afican American Lives 2. The miniseries, which Gates jokingly calls in a Test traced the genealogical and genetic heritage of prominent and celebrities such as Oprah Winfey, Morgan Freeman, Tina Turner and Chris Rock. Also on were fom the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based genetics company Knome, who told Gates they were interested in working with him on other projects involving DNA testing. Already prompted by the fans to do a show about all Americans, Gates told the Knome representatives that this time he wanted to make a PBS series based on testing the full DNA (or of some of his guests. Every living thing on Earth is built fom instruction inside its cells. The complete
deltaskymag.com August 2010