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Helicos Co-Founder Says He Sequenced Own Genome on Company's Platform


This article was originally published on March 4.

Helicos BioSciences co-founder Steve Quake has sequenced his own genome using the Helicos Genetic Analysis System, the first human genome reported to be sequenced using the company's single-molecule platform.

Quake, a professor of bioengineering at Stanford University, mentioned the project last week in a guest column he wrote for a New York Times blog.

In the posting, he said that he was able to obtain 10-fold coverage of his genome, or at least 30 gigabases of data, within two weeks, adding that the data analysis took "several more weeks as we have built up our computer infrastructure, but it is essentially complete."

Quake confirmed in an e-mail message last week that he used the Helicos sequencer for the project but declined to provide further details. He said he plans to publish the results of the study.

Helicos President Steve Lombardi told In Sequence last week that the study was conducted by Quake and his colleagues using the instrument that Helicos installed at Stanford University last fall (see In Sequence 10/7/2008).

He said that Helicos collaborates with Stanford researchers on other projects, but the company did not participate in this one.

While the data analysis is almost finished, the study is not. "The hardest part is to interpret what it means," Quake wrote in his column.

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