The Scientech Club provides a forum for weekly presentations and discussions in the fields of science and technology and other topics for the enlightenment of its membership.
Regular, one-hour Meetings are, with the exception of holidays, held every Monday at noon at The Northside Knights of Columbus, 2100 East 71st Street, Indianapolis. Club Members, as well as the general public, may attend our Regular Meetings for a nominal contribution to pay for the facility. For those who wish, a buffet lunch may be enjoyed before the meeting. Occasionally, instead of a presentation, members and their guests may take a tour to a place of interest, such as a plant or historical site.
The Scientech Club is associated with two outstanding local charitable Foundations, established by Scientech members to promote science education: The D.J. Angus - Scientech Foundation and the R. B. Annis Educational Foundation.
Dr. Alexandre Erkine
Next generation genome sequencing allows us to read the entire content of your DNA for
$1000. This information holds the keys to potential life-threatening medical conditions, as well as
simply to your personal traits (psychological character, mental abilities, national origin(s), etc.). The
question is: do you want to gain this information about yourself, your relatives, your future (or current)
husband/wife? Do you think the insurance companies, your roommate or NSA will want this
information? And if they do get it, what do you think they will do with it? These are the questions that
Dr. Erkine asked the audience. He feels that the revolution of individual genomes sequencing is now
and will be the biggest revolution to hit our world since the computer.
The DNA double helix was discovered in 1953; the genetic code was cracked from 1961-1965; the Sanger sequencing was developed in 1977, opening the door for the human genome project in 1990 at a cost of $3 billion. Industrial NGS instruments were developed in 2005. The cost for a complete sequence was $70,000 in 2011 and is less than $1000 in 2014.
What can the human genome do? It is a blueprint for who you are. The genome provides information about your immune system, your diseases, hormonal balance, height, propensity for obesity, lifespan, your psychological character, your national roots and even possibly your profession. Dr. Erkine mentioned that many people do not believe that these predictions can be obtained. He recommended that the audience do research on the many studies done on identical twins that were separated from birth. All of these characteristics, and many others, were identical.
Now, for $1000 you can learn more about yourself or someone else. This knowledge is extremely valuable, but our system has yet to address for whom and how this information is obtained. Hopefully in the near future you will be asked if your genome can be sequenced when you have any medical test, yet your information can be easily obtained by anyone.
Do you want to have your genome sequence in your pocket? Advantages include cancer treatment and numerous familial diseases easily preventable by individualized medicine, lifestyle changes, etc. Also your genome will help science in the development of its potential applications. Yet the burden of knowing can be high. What if the predicated disease is incurable? What will happen with your daughter’s or son’s engagement if the fiancé has a high probability of contracting a bad disease? How will it affect the decision to have a child? A screening for behavior genes, like cheating: Do you really want to know it? Dr. Erkine then reviewed the new “Shotgun genome sequencing” using fragmented genome chunks.
What was the bottom line of his talk? A few years ago you could say, “Who cares about the DNA sequencing some geeks do in the lab?” Today you get a complete sequence of your personal genome for $5000-$10,000.
ClickHERE for an article on TruGenome Sequencing Services
Notes by Hank Wolfla