What can you buy for $1000, or £646? A laptop…A moped… A holiday to Iceland… How about your genome?
Now for that price you can sequence and own the complete genetic instructions that make you, you. What can you do with it? You can find out if you have genes that make you susceptible to certain illnesses, like lung cancer, diabetes or arthritis.
The machine, which can sequence your genome in under a day, is smaller than a desktop printer and could be used in hospitals across the world to test for genetic mutations, and help doctors develop better therapies for, or even prevent, particular diseases. It has made personal genome sequencing a reality- quick and affordable.
The same machine was used during last year’s European E.coli outbreak to identify the strain’s drug-resistant genes and help discover where it originated.
Would you like to know if you were prone to developing certain diseases? How would it affect your life? And who should have access to your genetic information?
Explore the topic of genetic testing with our discussion activity Do you want to know a Secret? , where students discuss the ethics and science of genetic tests, and consider the impact that a genetic test could have on their lives.