May 6, 2009 | 1
Last week, we reported on an ongoing eBay auction for personal genome sequencing, analysis, and interpretation by Knome, Inc., a genetics company in Cambridge, Mass. At the time, no one had placed a bid.
But since then, someone did: The auction closed Monday afternoon, with a single bid at the $68,000 minimum Knome had set.
"We don't know who the [auction's] winner is," says Knome's Ari Kiirikki. "We know it's a male and we know he's from Europe." But as soon as the payment goes through, probably within days, the company will learn his identity, he adds, and the unknown man will join about 20 others who have had their genes sequenced by Knome.
Feb 15, 2009 | 5
CHICAGO—There is a moment in Steven Spielberg's E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial in which scientists realize that E.T. in fact has DNA, like Earth-based life forms. But that DNA is unlike any that scientists have thus far—it being 1982, of course—found in any Earthbound organism: It has six, instead of the usual four, bases in its alphabet.
Had E.T. been made today, a scientific consultant may have had to give a nod to a lab in Gainesville, Fla., where DNA with six nucleotides exists in a beaker.
"We have an artificial chemical system that is capable of Darwinian evolution," biochemist Steven A. Benner, of the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution in Gainesville, said at a session here at the American Association for the Advancement of Science's (AAAS) annual meeting this morning.
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