Stanford Engineer Invents Cheap Gene for Disease Prevention

A Stanford engineer has invented a new technology for decoding DNA and used it to decode his own genome for less than $50,000 , New York Times reports.

Meanwhile, six years ago, hundreds of researchers at the Human Genome Project completed the same task for $300 million. It took 13 years.

The breakneck pace of technological progress in the field of DNA sequencing has raised hopes that affordable gene scans will be available to all patients soon.

Researchers hope cheap gene sequencing will lead to highly customized disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment tailored to an individual's genetic code ,The Associated Press reports.

However, quake's becomes one of only about a dozen genomes that have been sequenced so far. Others whose genomes have been sequenced include J. Craig Venter, founder of Celera Genomics -- which played a significant role in the mapping of the human genome -- and James Watson, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA.

Stanford physicians are studying the genome -- and Quake -- to look for links between health and genetics. The genome revealed that Quake carries a rare mutation for a heart disorder that has affected other members of his family. The good news, he said, is that he also has a gene that suggests he will respond well to cholesterol-lowering statin drugs ,Los Angeles Times reports.

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