Scientific American's 21st Century Medicine (Scientific American Special Online PDF

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These methods of template amplification and of sequencing by base extension or by ligation are just a few representative examples of the approaches dozens of different academic and corporate research groups are taking to sequencing by synthesis. Still another technique, sequencing by hybridization, also uses fluorescence to generate a visible signal and, like sequenc- COPYRIGHT 2006 SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, INC. J U LY 2 0 0 6 NANOPORE SEQUENCING b 1 Time in Seconds 2 3 4 5 Open pore –120 Picoamperes –15 c –120 pA open pore 500 microseconds –15 pA d Hypothetical readout Membrane T T T TC THE AUTHOR ing by ligation, exploits the tendency of DNA strands to bind, or hybridize, with their complementary sequences and not with mismatched sequences.

Therefore, any imaging device lim- will be needed to process sequence information so that it is manageable by doctors, for example. They will need a method to derive an individualized priority list for each patient of the top 10 or so genetic variations likely to be important. Equally essential will be assessing the effects of widespread access to this technology on people. From its outset, the HGP established a $10-million-a-year program to study and address the ethical, legal and social issues that would be raised by human genome sequencing.

And all have spent time on a culture medium containing mouse cells, creating a possibility of contamination by nonhuman viruses. S. Food and Drug Administration is now considering whether to allow clinical trials with these cells. 33 SCIENTIFIC AMERIC AN EXCLUSIVE ONLINE ISSUE Since 2001, techniques for keeping ES cells alive have improved considerably, and scientists and their supporters in Congress have been clamoring for permission to produce new healthy lines. Some have not waited. Douglas A.

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21st Century Medicine (Scientific American Special Online Issue No. 30) by Scientific American


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