Skip to Content
Biotechnology

The US has picked the DNA centers that will sequence 1 million genomes

September 26, 2018

A US precision medicine initiative is giving out $28.6 million to three gene sequencing centers to begin decoding the genomes of 1 million American volunteers. 

So, what’s it for? The AllofUs study is “one of the country’s most ambitious biomedical research efforts ever undertaken,” according to the National Institutes of Health, which is running the project. It will track the health, diet, and environment of a million people of all races who have handed over their genetic data to the project. So far, more than 110,000 have signed up.

Who: Decoding the DNA of the American volunteers was a coveted job. The winners, announced today, are the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the University of Washington in Seattle.

Only one company, Color Genomics of Burlingame, California, was selected. It will join the Cambridge team and will help provide DNA interpretation and reports—something it does as part of its day-to-day gene testing business.

The sequencing centers picked weren’t exactly outside-the box choices. Some of the same centers led the American part of the Human Genome Project 20 years ago.

Playing catch up: The US gene database will be big … but late to the party. A similar resource in the United Kingdom, the UK Biobank, got under way a decade ago and has been wowing researchers with data on 500,000 mostly middle-aged Britons.

Deep Dive

Biotechnology

This startup wants to copy you into an embryo for organ harvesting

With plans to create realistic synthetic embryos, grown in jars, Renewal Bio is on a journey to the horizon of science and ethics.

This nanoparticle could be the key to a universal covid vaccine

Ending the covid pandemic might well require a vaccine that protects against any new strains. Researchers may have found a strategy that will work.

How do strong muscles keep your brain healthy?

There’s a robust molecular language being spoken between your muscles and your brain.

The quest to show that biological sex matters in the immune system

A handful of immunologists are pushing the field to take attributes such as sex chromosomes, sex hormones, and reproductive tissues into account.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.