Google Finished With Cataloging the Internet Moving on to Your DNA

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It was just reported today that: “A Harvard University scientist backed by Google Inc. and OrbiMed Advisors LLC plans to unlock the secrets of common diseases by decoding the DNA of 100,000 people in the world’s biggest gene sequencing project.”

What nothing better to spend $1Billion on?  Why are they doing this you ask….

Harvard’s George Church plans to spend $1 billion to tie DNA information to each person’s health history, creating a database for finding new medicines. The U.S., U.K., China and Sweden this year began working together to decipher the genetic makeup of 1,000 people at a cost of $50 million.

Google, owner of the most popular Internet search engine, is looking for ways to give people greater control over their medical data. Along with the unspecified donation to Church, the Mountain View, California-based company said last week that it would work with the Cleveland Clinic to better organize health records, and last year gave $3.9 million to 23andme Inc., a seller of genomic data to individuals.

Church’s plan “would be the largest human genome sequencing project in the world,” Stephen Elledge, a geneticist at Harvard Medical School in Boston, said in a telephone interview today. “The genetic variations are what make people different, and we need to understand the connections to human disease. They’ll get a tremendous amount of information from this,” said Elledge, who isn’t involved in the project….“If we can expand the project, we’ll probably go for a million genomes,” Church said.

Personalized genetics and genomics are hot topics – Read more about the concepts here.  With these two you either look to an individual’s genetics to see how it will impact a disease or a treatment (a single gene) or with genomics “This is the dream of everyone gets a genome sequenced at birth, we assess risk, create prevention plans, identify idosyncratic drug reactions prior to medication therapy”.

The medical and financial impact for the company owning this data in unimaginable.  The source of individual variability of response to drugs and individual susceptability to disease could be greatly unlocked – as well as mined for new therapeutics.  Google of course is getting into all medical databasing starting with your health record and I predict images of your diseases next.

 

 

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