Business Week provides Beginner’s guide to the genome sequencing factory in a nice article -
Its the Wild West, says George Church, a professor of genetics at Harvard University and an adviser to BGI. This is a field that has arisen overnight, and the number of discoveries is going up exponentially. A single genome contains a massive amount of data (a human genome, for example, contains about 3 billion nucleotides, or data points), and a bioinformatics experts work requires sifting through, comparing, and testing the information in multiple genomes. While sequencing costs have dropped dramatically in the last 10 years, the process is far from automated. Companies that offer personalized genetic testing, such as 23andMe, typically test only for a sampling of 100 traits and diseases, or about 1/3,000th of the entire genome, Church says. For about $4,000, BGI does the whole thing.
What next? Are they going IPO Silicon valley style? We hope not !!
Question for readers:
In an earlier thread, we said -
Science in USA has become very hierarchical and people consider authority more important than scientific process of logical argument.
and reader Damian responded -
I agree with you, except that I think thats science everywhere in the world. Academia seems to be becoming a kind of a priesthood.
The posted article about BGI suggests that China is an exception to the above generalization. Is that true? Does anyone have more direct experience with scientific culture in China/BGI to filter out reality from promotional writing ? We always try to maintain healthy distrust Business Week :)