Weekly reads: genome sequencing, chemical reprogramming 2.0

I wrote earlier this week about genome sequencing of famous dead celebrities, pointing out that the trend seems full of ethical complexities.

Human genome sequencing
DNA sequencing is a key to much of genome sciences. “Digital representation of the output from a DNA sequencer from the National Human Genome Research Institute.(National Human Genome Research Institute )”

Genome news

More broadly, sequencing the genomes of non-celebrities from hundreds or thousands of years ago can be important research. A new NYT piece covers such work on the Swahili people. Such research still requires careful consideration and ethical practices.

An earlier NYT piece pointed out by Steve Joffe on genome sequencing relating to prominent Indigenous peoples of North America highlights some of the challenges in this area.

Then there’s this from the BBC on Why the human genome was never completedHow many times have we heard that the whole human genome has been sequenced? In actuality, every time there have been gaps, often related to pesky repeat regions. These  are tough to fully and accurately sequence. Just in the last year I remember reading that finally it was actually done. This new article says it’s still not done but could be soon.

Other recommended reads

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