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Google backing big DNA decoding effort

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A billion dollar plan backed by Google and healthcare investment firm OrbiMed Advisors will sequence the genes of 100,000 people in the biggest effort of its kind.

News of the effort as cited by Bloomberg could provide a massive amount of insight into diseases and ways to combat them:

By matching genetic data from each person with his or her health history, Church would build a database that would link DNA variations and disease for scientists and drugmakers, the first step in deciding on treatments that can block the mutations or adjust how they work within the body. 

“Harvard’s George Church plans to spend $1 billion to tie DNA information to each person’s health history, creating a database for finding new medicines,” the report said. “Google spokesman Andrew Pederson said it began supporting Church, who teaches at Harvard Medical School in Boston, with a donation late last year.”

We wonder if 23andMe.com will be involved in the testing. The company, run by Google co-founder Sergey Brin’s wife, Susan Wojcicki, offers DNA tests to individuals for $999. Bloomberg said Church has been an advisor to 23andMe, so we think there will be a connection their during the project.

Google backing big DNA decoding effort
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