May 27, 2008

First female DNA sequenced

Excerpt from ScienceDaily
ScienceDaily (May 26, 2008) — Geneticists of Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) are the first to determine the DNA sequence of a woman. She is also the first European whose DNA sequence has been determined. Following in-depth analysis, the sequence will be made public, except incidental privacy-sensitive findings. The results will contribute to insights into human genetic diversity.

DNA of geneticist Marjolein Kriek

The DNA is that of dr Marjolein Kriek, a clinical geneticist at LUMC. “If anyone could properly consider the ramifications of knowing his or her sequence, it is a clinical geneticist,” says professor Gert-Jan B van Ommen, leader of the LUMC team and director of the ‘Center for Medical Systems Biology’ (CMSB), a center of the Netherlands Genomics Initiative.

Van Ommen continues: “Moreover, while women don’t have a Y-chromosome, they have two X-chromosomes. As the X-chromosome is present as a single copy in half the population, the males, it has undergone a harsher selection in human evolution. This has made it less variable. We considered that sequencing only males, for ‘completeness’, slows insight into X-chromosome varialibity. So it was time, after sequencing four males, to balance the genders a bit”. He smiles: “And after Watson we also felt that it was okay to do Kriek”.

2 comments:

n/a said...

"Van Ommen continues: “Moreover, while women don’t have a Y-chromosome, they have two X-chromosomes. [. . .] We considered that sequencing only males, for ‘completeness’, slows insight into X-chromosome varialibity. So it was time, after sequencing four males, to balance the genders a bit”."

Their stated rationale doesn't make much sense to me. I'm thinking they did this more for publicity and/or PC.

Sequence a man, and you get one complete haploid x-chromosome. Sequence a woman, and you get mixed-up data from two x-chromosomes--unless you have sufficient data and computational resources to untangle the actual haplotypes. This is certainly possible, but it's not free either.

Kat said...

Heheh Who said scientist don't have a sense of humour. I love the Watson/Kriek pun :)