Kevin McKernan's company Medicinal Genomics announced that it has a draft assembly of the marijuana genome, reports Bloomberg. The data is to be posted to the Amazon EC2 cloud. According to Nature's News blog, the Cannabis sativa genome is estimated to be about 400 million bases, or three times that of Arabidopsis thaliana. McKernan, who was previously at Life Technologies, started Medicinal Genomics "to find ways to maximize the cannabis plant's therapeutic benefits and minimize its psychoactive effects," Bloomberg says.
"This is the beginning of a more scientific approach to the genetics of the species," adds Richard Gibbs from Baylor College of Medicine. "This is not really about marijuana; it's about pharmacology."
And, as Nature's News blog notes, the pot samples were prepared for sequencing at a lab in Amsterdam.