“Researchers have reconstructed an ancient genome that is 10 times as old as any retrieved so far, and now say that DNA should be recoverable from animals that lived one million years ago. This would greatly extend biologists’ ability to understand the evolutionary past.”
Whole Genome Sequencing gets Practical - A little over ten years ago, the human genome project sequenced the human DNA code for the first time. Now this achievement is showing some off-shoots in practical applications. Modern medicine has an impressive array of tools available when it comes to treating diseases; however when it comes to diagnosis the problem in the first place, the picture looks a lot more humble. Many diseases share identical symptoms, some cause different symptoms in different people, and others show no symptoms at all until it’s too late to prevent serious damage.
Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) can change that. Instead of a doctor poking and prodding you from the outside, a sample of your DNA can be read to pinpoint problems with much higher accuracy. Slate has a great article on where WGS is in fulfilling that promise:
A number of patients have already reaped dramatic benefits from WGS. A 6-year-old Wisconsin boy received a life-saving umbilical-cord-blood transplant after WGS showed that a unique DNA mutation was responsible for his mysterious bowel disease. A pair of 14-year-old San Diego twins suffering from a debilitating movement disorder were successfully treated after WGS revealed they had a rare mutation that could be corrected by a simple amino acid supplement.