Genetic mapping babies by 2019 to transform preventive medicine
A leading company working in the field of Gene sequencing has said that every baby born after one decade will have their DNA mapped. The Human Genome Project, which published its first rough sequence of mankind's genetic code in 2001, cost an estimated $4billion (£2.7billion). By the time the scientists James Watson and Craig Venter had their genomes mapped two years ago, the cost had fallen to about $1m.
Every baby born a decade from now will have its genetic code mapped at birth, the head of the world's leading genome sequencing company has predicted.
A complete DNA read-out for every newborn will be technically feasible and affordable in less than five years, promising a revolution in healthcare, says Jay Flatley, the chief executive of Illumina.
Only social and legal issues are likely to delay the era of “genome sequences”, or genetic profiles, for all. By 2019 it will have become routine to map infants' genes when they are born, Dr Flatley told The Times.
This will open a new approach to medicine, by which conditions such as diabetes and heart disease can be predicted and prevented and drugs prescribed more safely and effectively.