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Three phases of genome sequencing and their consequences for science & medicine

Over the last 20 years the different phases of genome sequencing have had a profound impact on the biological sciences and related applications in medicine and agriculture - this event in the Cambridge Philosophical Society lecture series for Michaelmas term will cover three major phases. Entry is Free and open to all who are interested.
When Nov 06, 2017
from 06:00 PM to 08:00 PM
Where Bristol-Myers Squibb Lecture Theatre Department of Chemistry, Lensfield Road CB2 1EW , Cambridge
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Over the last 20 years the different phases of genome sequencing have had a profound impact on the biological sciences and related applications in medicine and agriculture. 

The first, in which Fred Sanger’s sequencing chemistry was automated in the first sequencing machines, led to the reference genome sequences of human and a few other key species. This enabled genomic biology. 

In the second phase, highly parallel “next generation” short read sequencing technologies allowed sequencing thousands of humans and individuals from other species for which a reference was already available, giving us the ability to study genetic variation directly. This has led to rapidly increasing applications of DNA sequencing in clinical medicine, and has connected two scientific areas, population genetics and molecular biology. 

In the last few years, new single molecule sequencing technologies have become viable at scale, giving sequencing reads hundreds of times longer than the previous methods, which allow us to efficiently determine from scratch the genome sequences of arbitrary species. 

We are now entering a third phase of genome sequencing in which we will sequence all million or so known species, with potential major consequences for the study of diversity and evolution, and for conservation. 

SPEAKER Professor Richard Durbin FRS, Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge and Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cambridge. Richard Durbin is a Senior Group Leader and joint Head of Human Genetics at The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. After postdoctoral research in neural networks at Stanford University, he joined the genome project at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in 1990, then the Sanger Institute when it was founded in 1992. Currently he co-leads the 1000 Genomes Project to produce a deep catalogue of human genetic variation by large scale DNA sequencing, and the UK10K collaboration to extend sequence based genetics to samples with clinically relevant phenotypes. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2004. 

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