Someday in the future each child that is born will have a file of their genome sequence prepared at birth. For some newborns in Boston, Kansas City, San Fransisco, and Chapel Hill the future is now. The National Institutes of Health is funding a new initiative to examine how the early availability of a child’s genome will affect medical care decisions and the families. $25 million dollars over 5 years is to be allocated between research sites. Each location is approaching the issue of infant genomes slightly differently. Continue reading “Baby’s First Genome”
…what would we expect for the number of functional elements (as ENCODE defines them) in genomes much larger than our own genome? If the number were to stay more or less constant, it would seem sensible to consider the rest of the DNA of larger genomes to be junk or, at least, assign it a different sort of role (structural rather than informational)…A larger theoretical framework, embracing informational and structural roles for DNA, neutral as well as adaptive causes of complexity, and selection as a multilevel phenomenon, is needed.