Genomics World to Get ‘A Lot Weirder’

Andrew Hessel, an entrepreneur known for mixing genetics and futuristic visions of technology, gave the keynote at last month’s International Symposium for Human Identification (ISHI) .. The 50-minute talk was titled “The Golden Age of Genomics.”

“My talk title is completely wrong. We’re not in the ‘golden age of genomics,’” said Hessel. “We’re just getting started today … It’s going to get a lot weirder.”

Hessel is the CEO of Humane Genomics, a biotech company that is working to engineer dog viruses to beat cancer. He is also involved in the Genome Project-Write, and he serves as a faculty member at Singularity University, a Silicon Valley think tank.

His wide-ranging talk delineated a kind of gold rush for cheap and revolutionary DNA data that will fundamentally change humanity, from individual cells on up to treating disease and changing ourselves utterly.

Now that sequencing an entire human genome has “flatlined” at $1,000, the scene is set for truly revolutionary gains in the biosciences, Hessel said.

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