[ExI] Fwd: DIY DNA: One Father's Attempt to Hack His Daughter's Genetic Code

Bryan Bishop kanzure at gmail.com
Tue Jan 20 10:07:22 UTC 2009

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jeroen Van Goey <jeroen.vangoey at gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Jan 20, 2009 at 3:57 AM
Subject: DIY DNA: One Father's Attempt to Hack His Daughter's Genetic Code
To: diybio at googlegroups.com

Hi all,

A nice article in Wired about a father who is combing through his
daugthers DNA to find the cause for her genetic disease.

Families facing this kind of medical uncertainty are often paralyzed
by their distress. But rather than give in to his anguish, Hugh
Rienhoff made an extraordinary decision: He would dig into Beatrice's
genetic code and find the answer himself. A biotechnology consultant
by day, Rienhoff has been an avid student of clinical genetics since
he earned his medical degree nearly 30 years ago. Now he has used this
expertise to transform his Bay Area home into a makeshift genetics
lab. Surrounded by his children's artwork and bookshelves loaded with
his wife's political literature, Rienhoff set about sequencing a
number of Beatrice's genes, preparing samples using secondhand
equipment and turning to public databases to interpret the results. On
the desk in his attic workspace are a pair of white binders stuffed
with charts detailing 20,000 of Beatrice's base pairs; the data for
nearly 1 billion can be accessed from a nearby PC. Whenever he has a
spare moment, Rienhoff sequesters himself in this cluttered, carpeted
room and sifts through his daughter's DNA, one nucleotide at a time.
He is hunting for the single genetic quirk responsible for Beatrice's
woes—an adenine in place of a guanine, perhaps, or an extra cytosine
in a key location. If he can find the culprit, he figures, maybe he
can find a treatment, too.


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