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This netcast explores the rapidly changing world of biotech, with a penchant towards getting a better understanding of who we are and where we are going. The living world will soon be a true substrate for engineering. Our world will change, and so will we. 
We bring a first hand account from the scientists that are moving us into this new technological era: the era of biotech. 

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    « Futures in Biotech 54: Personal Genome Project - Leo's Genome? | Main | Futures in Biotech 52: Ultra Low Power Bioelectronics, Part 1 »

    Futures in Biotech 53: Project Genome 10k, The Greatest Journey: From Fish to Man and Beyond

    Host: Marc Pelletier

    Guest: Dr. David Haussler, Professor of Biomolecular Engineering, University of California at Santa Cruz, Director of the Center for Biomolecular Science & Engineering, and investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

    We talk with pioneer bioinformatition David Haussler. He and his team assembled the first draft of the human genome. Now he is working on Genome 10k. He explains and how sequencing ten thousand vertebrate genomes will tell us about our past, present, and future.

    "We do paleocomputational genomics: our software effort over the last five years or so is focused on taking the genomes that we are sequencing from all of the species that are living on the planet today and working backwards towards what the genomes of their ancestors must of looked like. It's a tremendous opportunity. One way to think about this is the genomes that we see today are like having noisy copies of an ancient text. Imagine that you had this ancient text, and there were pages missing in a few copies, and other copies had smudges and letters changed, or maybe it was copied by hand and the copies were made that had errors in them. If you just had one decedent, one copy from this ancient text, it would be very hard to reconstruct the way the text looked like because of all the changes. But if you made dozens of independent copies of them, such that it's unlikely that the same change was made multiple times in the same place, then you can reconstruct from those copies what the ancient text must have looked like, so for this, the genome of our common ancestor of placental mammals for example, a creature that lived in the late Cretaceous period, about a 100 million years ago, in the shadow of the dinosaurs. That genome is something that we can get a very good picture of by taking all of the placental mammals that are alive today, and working back from their genomes to what must of been that common ancestral genome, and we do that computationally." Dr. David Haussler, January 2010. 

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    Reader Comments (1)

    What a great show. The possibilities for future knowledge almost brought me to tears. Your guest:( Dr. David Haussler) was wonderful. My thanks to your host for his insightful questions. Jesus Christ, that was great!

    January 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRichard M.

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