Genomics is exciting right now. The sci-fi movies I watched growing up have somehow become not just feasible, but reality. We’ve successfully determined most of the 6 billion bases that makes a human. Our brilliant scientists and researchers are starting to piece together the massive amounts of data that might describe how our genes interact. Genetics is digital.
Ion Torrent, a product of Life Technologies, is a new, disruptive DNA sequencing platform that determines DNA reads using a completely novel, electrical signal-based detection method. Unlike the classical Sanger methods which rely on fluorescence and light, Ion Torrent can sequence in the dark.
Genomic sequence variants, including single nucleotide polymorphisms, insertions, deletions, and even deleterious substitutions, are often listed with a deprecated nomenclature and incorrect nucleic acid or amino acid names. A static reference genome assembly (for instance, the Locus Reference Genomic sequence) is greatly needed.
An analysis of 23andMe genotype data between siblings to check for genotyping errors reveals high accuracy (99.15%) of genotype calls.
Artificial life is no new idea. Computer scientists have investigated and made use of many of the principals around AI for years. However, in silico models of evolution have been shown to produce some form of self-replicating, mutating, artificial life. How far have these models gone, and where will they go next? Is this playing God?