Speaking with a reporter from the Edinburgh Evening News, Mark Blaxter says that whole-genome sequencing is "going to be part of standard clinical practice very soon." Blaxter, a professor at the University of Edinburgh, adds that while clinical sequencing shows much promise, its practice incurs complex ethical quandaries. Blaxter also outlines advances in sequencing technology, and how scientists have applied them along the way.
"I sequenced 3,000 letters of a genome of a small parasite that causes a nasty disease in India for my PhD. Cutting edge at the time, it took three years to do," he tells the Evening News. "The machines we use today can sequence 300 billion bases in 10 days. It's now cheap, accessible and there are all sorts of possibilities with this technology."