"That's part of what makes the 1,000 Genomes Project such a landmark study. It really does usher us into the age of personal genomics," Batzer said. "We've gone from taking more than a decade to sequence a genome to being able to sequence about 1,000 in just a few years, and for considerably less cost."
And the value of these projects is immense, since learning more about human genetic variability is inevitably tied to our understanding of disease susceptibility, inheritance and mutational processes, thus directly impacting human health.
According to Batzer, the full study will give more insight into the heredity of genomic traits, whether positive or negative. It will allow scientists to understand where parts of our genomes are changing, how fast and perhaps why. It will also offer the opportunity in the not-so-distant future for testing the genomic predisposition of passing on certain disorders to future generations to and to gain new insight into the genetic basis of these disorders.
"Personal genomics? This was just a pipedream a few years ago," Batzer said. "Now, we're changing the ballgame. There are so many disorders that would be able to be diagnosed and impacted with this technology once it's completely developed."
The project involves several hundred scientists from all over the world. Simply coordinating research efforts was a significant undertaking.
"It's been a true pleasure to work with all these amazing scientists from around the world. Getting to know them and exchanging ideas while working on a project this big and this important is one of the highlights of my caree
|Contact: Ashley Berthelot|
Louisiana State University