Personal Genome Project

I am sick and tired of all the bad news that jumps at you every day you open a newspaper or turn on the TV. So I am ready for unbounded optimism. That is what human spirit is all about. We will eventually get rid of all the distractions that increase anxiety or be completely anhilated by them. Either way, I would rather spend time on basking in optimism about the future. That is why I love the intro to the Fast50 List.

Sure, there’s plenty to fret about in the coming decade–dwindling natural resources, swelling populations, whipsawing technology, and growing conflict. But are we scared? Hell, no. The possibilities are multiplying, too.

The one thing that struck me in the list is the concept of Open Source DNA.

Unraveling the first human genome took 13 years and $3 billion. Within the next five years, scientists aim to have that down to about 90 seconds–and $1,000. In the meantime, if you’re willing to share, George Church will sequence your DNA for free.

Church is a Harvard genetics professor and a founder of the Personal Genome Project (PGP), which hopes to make personal genomes as accessible and useful as personal computers.