The power of next-generation genome sequencing technology is demonstrated in two collaborations published in Nature. The papers shed light on the nature of human genomic variation with ethnicity, and more broadly the studies have major implications regarding the feasibility of making 'personal genomics' a reality.
One paper, from a team led by David Bentley, describes the sequencing and initial characterization of the genome of an African individual from the Yoruba ethnic group of West Africa. The work demonstrates the utility of the Illumina (formerly Solexa) massively parallel sequencing approach, which is already being widely used in fields ranging from medical resequencing through to assessment of copy number variation.
The other paper reports the genome of an Asian individual, sequenced using the same technology. Jun Wang and colleagues illustrate the potential of personal genomics in disease diagnosis, and by comparing this genome with the other individual genomes already available, those of J. D. Watson and J. C. Venter, they are able to shed light on the genetic variation in individuals of different ethnicity.
David Bentley (Illumina Cambridge, Little Chesterford, UK) Author paper 
Jun Wang (Beijing Genomics Institute at Shenzhen, China) Author paper 
Zhuo Li (Beijing Genomics Institute-Shenzhen, China) Co-author paper 
Samuel Levy (J. Craig Venter Institute, Rockville, MD, USA) N&V co-author
Robert Strausberg (J. Craig Venter Institute, Rockville, MD, USA) N&V co-author
(C) Nature press release.
Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza
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