Wednesday, November 5, 2008

First African-American president, first African genome

Hot on the heels of the election of the first African-American president comes news in today's Nature of the first human genome sequence from an African--that of an unnamed male Yoruba from Ibadan, Nigeria. The article is also a landmark first description of the use for this purpose of one type of next-generation sequencing technology, the Solexa or Illumina approach (next-generation approaches promise to deliver sequence data 100 x faster and 100x cheaper than established approaches). The paper focuses more on technical details rather than biological take-home messages. But it is clear that this is just the start of a flood of new genome sequences that will be completed in the near future. A thousand human genome project is already well underway and I would not be surprised to see tens or even hundreds of thousands of new bacterial genome sequences appearing within the next five years.


No comments: