James Watson gets another scientific first

May 31, 2007 at 1:52 PM

HOUSTON, May 31 (UPI) -- U.S. scientist and Nobel laureate James Watson, co-discoverer of the DNA double helix, has become the first human to receive his own personal genome sequence.

Watson, the father of the Human Genome Project, was presented with the data that encompass his personal genome during a Thursday ceremony at the Baylor College of Medicine.

The $1 million, two-month project was a collaboration of 454 Life Sciences and the college's Human Genome Sequencing Center, said Richard Gibbs, director of the center.

Gibbs said the achievement, aside from its meaning to Watson, is significant since it demonstrates it will be possible to sequence anyone's genome -- a goal of many sequencing firms. The time and cost of achieving such sequencing will decrease as technology improves, scientists noted.

Watson said he plans to evaluate the information included in his genome and write about its significance to him, his family and the future of genetic medicine.

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