Mapping the Personal Genomics Landscape

Last week saw the first annual Genomes, Environments, Traits (GET) Conference, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Timed to coincide with DNA Day 2010, the conference marked one decade since the publication of the draft consensus human genome sequence. The GET Conference was billed as “the last chance in history to collect everyone with a personal genome sequence on the same stage to share their experiences and discuss the important ways in which personal genomes will affect all of our lives in the coming years.” Not quite everyone with a public personal genome sequence attended – Craig Venter, Desmond Tutu, Glenn Close were all unavailable – but a majority of the genomic pioneers were in attendance and the GET Conference was a one-of-a-kind event.

For those who missed the GET Conference, several high quality recaps are available. The most detailed is A Day Among Genomes, by Carl Zimmer of Discover’s blog The Loom. More targeted reflections on the conference and related events come from Emily Singer of Technology Review summarzing key trends highlighted by the genome pioneers (Singer also has a related piece on the difficulties of understanding human genomes), David Dobbs of Neuron Culture on genomes, cool conferences, and what the hell to tell people about behavioral genes, and Turna Ray of Pharmacogenomics Reporter on the recent Myriad Genetics decision, and its impact on the business of patenting genes. If you’d like even more detail, the Twitter community provided real-time play-by-play.

While there’s no need for a further summary, the GET Conference does provide an occasion to look at the evolving personal genomics landscape in a more holistic fashion.


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Welcome to Scientia Pro Publica #26

In honor of DNA Day, the Genomics Law Report is completing its transformation into a one stop shop for the best in blog wrangling by hosting Scientia Pro Publica #26 and Blawg Review #260 in the same week. We think it fitting that these two august reviews should appear side-by-side at the GLR, which itself sits firmly at the intersection of science and the law.

For those unfamiliar with Scientia Pro Publica, it is a traveling compilation of the best blog writing targeted to the public about science, medicine, the environment and technology. Though more recently arrived, it is to science blogging what Blawg Review is to legal blogging. Our hope is that pairing the two will encourage all of our readers, regardless of background, to explore some of the best writing from previously unknown corners of the internet.

The occasion for this 25th 26th edition of Scientia Pro Publica – DNA Day – is one that is doubtless well-known to scientists, but if you’d like to know more please see the introduction to Blawg Review #260. As for the semi-creative counting, earlier this month Scientia Pro Publica featured a pair of 24th editions: one by Andrew at 360 Degree Skeptic and another by (a different) Andrew at Southern Fried Science. Which makes this, technically, the 26th edition of Scientia Pro Publica. If there’s one thing a lawyer hosting a science blog review can contribute it’s an increased sensitivity to technicalities. On to the submissions!


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Welcome to Blawg Review #260

The Genomics Law Report is pleased to host the 260th Blawg Review. For regular GLR readers who are unfamiliar with the Blawg Review concept, it’s the longest-running weekly recap of legal blog posts in cyberspace. Each week, a different legal-related blog (also referred to as a blawg or, in the GLR’s case, an Internet journal) hosts Blawg Review, highlighting the most interesting posts from the previous week. Think of it as an enhanced version of our regular Weekly Twitter Roundup.

The occasion for this week’s Blawg Review is DNA Day 2010. For regular Blawg Review readers who may not be familiar with DNA Day, the event was established by Congressional resolution in 2003 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the description of the double-helix structure of DNA and to celebrate the publication of the final consensus human genome sequence produced by the Human Genome Project.

This year’s DNA Day (April 23rd) is generating more publicity than usual as it coincides with the 10th anniversary of the draft human genome sequence. (Perhaps it makes sense to peg anniversary celebrations to the draft publication, as the final human genome sequence is still being completed seven years after its publication.) Many of the genomic pioneers from this past decade, as well as decades prior, will be gathering in Cambridge, MA next week at the GET Conference to take stock of how far the science and commerce of genomics has come, and project where it is heading in the decades to come.

So, pick your favorite anniversary – 57 years since the double helix, 10 years since the draft genome, 7 years since the final genome or 5 years since the first Blawg Review – and join us as we looks back at the week that was in blawging.


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