Personal genetic profiles may be reality

August 6, 2005

Personal genetic profiles revealing a person's risk of disease, food intolerance and drug reactions could soon be a reality, says a Boston researcher.

George Church of the Harvard University Medical School in Boston said he read the entire genetic code, or genome, of the E.coli gut bacterium using off-the-shelf instruments -- an inexpensive microscope, a digital camera and fluorescent dyes, each of which binds to one of four DNA "letters" of the genetic code, the Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

Church said his ability to read DNA at a fraction of the normal cost indicates the cost of genetic technology could be reduced.

"These developments give the feeling that improvements are coming very quickly," said Church.

A person's genetic code helps identify genetic risk factors for diseases such as cancer and allow drugs to be tailored to suit an individual's particular genetic make-up.

Church's findings are published in Science.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Study adds to evidence that viruses are alive

Related Stories

Study adds to evidence that viruses are alive

September 25, 2015

A new analysis supports the hypothesis that viruses are living entities that share a long evolutionary history with cells, researchers report. The study offers the first reliable method for tracing viral evolution back to ...

Explainer: What is the molecular clock?

September 15, 2015

In the 150 years since Charles Darwin recognised the kinship of all life, scientists have worked to fulfil his dream of a complete Tree of Life. Today, the methods used to trace the evolutionary branches back through time ...

New DNA research reveals genetic heritage of elusive vaquita

September 15, 2015

A new method of teasing information from scarce and highly degraded genetic samples is helping NOAA Fisheries and Mexican scientists unravel the genetic heritage of the enigmatic vaquita, the most endangered marine mammal ...

Recommended for you

A long look back at fishes' extendable jaws

October 8, 2015

When it comes to catching elusive prey, many fishes rely on a special trick: protruding jaws that quickly extend their reach to snap up that next meal. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology ...

New protein cleanup factors found to control bacterial growth

October 8, 2015

Biochemists have long known that crucial cell processes depend on a highly regulated cleanup system known as proteolysis, where specialized proteins called proteases degrade damaged or no-longer-needed proteins. These proteases ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.