A future where we carry our genomes on our smartphones

IT COULD be a grief-saving app of the future, the day we carry our gene sequence in our phones.

When two people want to have children, they’ll bump genomes and a database might reply: ”Think again, you both have faulty disease-causing copies of the same gene.”


That’s the hope of the Australian geneticist Richard Cotton, who heads the international Human Variome Project, which aims to collect all variations of all genes that cause all disease from all countries.

It’s a Herculean task, but Professor Cotton is spurred by a “vivid imagination” and the rallying of clinicians, geneticists and researchers from more than 30 countries.

The 70-year-old founder of the Genomic Disorders Research Centre at Melbourne University, who yesterday spoke at the TEDx ideas conference at CarriageWorks, Eveleigh, regularly taps his imagination to “feel the pain” of those families whose loved ones are stricken with commonly fatal diseases such as cystic fibrosis or Huntington’s disease.

“It’s just devastating,” he says. Read more

Categories: Genetics, Technology

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