Mrs. Dolly Oden
CSC124 Period 2
1 April 2014
DNA and Gene Sequencing
DNA and Gene Sequencing began in the mid-1970s. At this time, scientists could only sequence a few pairs of genes per year. They could not sequence enough to make up a single gene, much less the whole human genome. (DNA Sequencing) Beginning in the 1990s only a few labs had been able to sequence a mere 100,00 gene bases and the costs for sequencing were extremely high. Since then improvemetns in technology have incresed the speed and decresed the cost of gene sequencing to the point where some labs have sequenced well over 100 million DNA bases per year. (DNA Sequencing)
The Human Genome Project , or HGP, was created to help develop new and better tools for making gene hunts faster, cheaper, and practical for almost any scientist. The tools created by this project included genetic maps, physical maps, and DNA sequence maps. The greatest achievement of the HGP was their success in sequencing the entire length of human DNA, referred to as the human genome. With the sequencing of the human genome complete, HGP was able to go on to sequence the genes of several key organisms, like mice, mosquitos, and plants like mustard weed and rice.(Figure 1) The simplicity of the genetic structure of these organisms makes them perfect for future technology development. (DNA Sequencing)
Providing a reference sequence for the human genome and of the human genome is an astonishing achievement in the field of Gene Sequecing, further advancements in sequencing technology will have to be made so large amounts of DNA can be worked on and compared with other genomes quickly and inexpensively. Scientists need to know the sequences of multiple different gene bases because it tells them what sort of genetic information is carried within a particular segment of DNA. For example, they can use this information to show which genes contian mutations that cause diseases. (DNA Sequencing) Comparing long stretches of DNA, roughly one million bases or more, taken from multiple individuals shoud give an abundance of information on the role of inheritance in disease susceptibility and even to eveolution as a whole.
DNA Sequencing Costs
Over a period of many years, groups like the National Human Genome Research Institute, or NHGRI, have been tracking and evaluating the costs associated with DNA and Genome sequencing. This information has helped serve as an important reference for assessing improvements in sequencing technologies and for assessing the cost of using certain technology in the sequencing process. (Wetterstrand) To demonstrate the reductions in gene sequencing costs NHGRI came up with hypothetical data reflecting Moore’s Law, which describes how computer power is doubled every two years. The improvements in the field of computer technology that keep inline with Moore’s Law seem to be doing exceptionally well, making Moore’s Law a useful comparison tool for analyzing the...