DNA Discoverer has Personal Genome Sequenced

Nobel laureate James Waston, together with Francis Crick, discovered the double helix structure of DNA along with the mechanism by which it is the medium for Genetic information. The entire human genome was sequenced only 4 years ago as a large collaborative effort costing USD 3 billion over 13 years. Gene sequencing technology, like computing is advancing exponentially such that in 60 days Watson's genome was sequenced for under USD 1 million. A genome's information will fit on a single DVD.

Watson is an active proponent of human genetic engineering, what could be termed "eugenics." While many support the idea of genetic therapy to cure or prevent disease, Watson goes farther, supporting genetic engineering even for cosmetic purposes. This issue will more and more come to the forefront of public policy and debate, hopefully even overshadowing the Anna Nicole Smith's baby daddy controversy or Paris Hilton's jail sentencing. I fully support reproductive freedom with the limits that parents are taxed for bringing new people into the world (perhaps progressively) and parents and doctors punished if their genetic or fertility experiments result in undue or unnatural human suffering. The unfortunate result of this may be that the human genome experiences fads where some celebrity's genes become very quickly overrepresented in the population, but overall I expect people will wish to preserve large sections of their own genome in the next generation while tweaking out negative carcinogenic genes and aiming for healthy life extension in the next generation. Meanwhile the cult of the "organic" will come to encompass the human population where a natural and more diseased segment of the population will remain reproductively exclusive. If I had the choice and the technology were sufficiently developed so as to be well understood and extremely reliable, my offspring would probably not be organic. To quote Watson, "If every girl were beautiful, I think it would be great!"

Personal genome sequencing has more immediate implications for health care, preventative medicine, insurance, and medical economics, but that is a topic for another time.

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