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[Source: ScienceDaily] - The twisting, ladder-like form of the DNA molecule -- the architectural floor plan of life -- contains a universe of information critical to human health. Enormous effort has been invested in deciphering the genetic code, including, most famously, the Human Genome Project. Nevertheless, the process of reading some three-billion nucleotide "letters" to reveal an individual's full genome remains a costly and complex undertaking.
Now biophysicist Stuart Lindsay, of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, has demonstrated a technique that may lead to rapid, low cost reading of whole genomes, through recognition of the basic chemical units -- the nucleotide bases that make up the DNA double helix. An affordable technique for DNA sequencing would be a tremendous advance for medicine, allowing routine clinical genomic screening for diagnostic purposes; the design of a new generation of custom-fit pharmaceuticals; and even genomic tinkering to enhance cellular resistance to viral or bacterial infection.
For more information: A New Read on DNA Sequencing
Now available: “Action and Impact," a 2014 report on the grant programs and activities of the Flinn Foundation in Arizona biosciences, civic leadership, arts and culture, and the Flinn Scholars program.