Die Sprache der Genomik

DALIAN, CHINA – In der vergangenen Woche verkündete ein Unternehmen namens Complete Genomics, dass 10 neue Kunden sein Angebot der Genom-Entschlüsselung in Anspruch nehmen werden. Der Preis wurde nicht genannt, doch das Unternehmen erklärte sein Ziel, diese Leistung innerhalb eines Jahres für $5.000 Dollar anzubieten.

Nicht die Ankündigung selbst war mir aufgefallen, sondern der Name des CEOs: Cliff Reid, der, als ich ihn in den Achtzigerjahren kennen lernte, Geschäftsführer eines Textsuche-Unternehmens namens Verity war. Die Verbindung wurde mir beinahe schlagartig klar. Gene sind gewissermaßen die Befehlssprache für den Aufbau des Menschen (oder jedes anderen Lebewesens). Und Sprache sind Symbole, die interagieren, um Bedeutung entstehen zu lassen. Und, ja, es war tatsächlich derselbe Cliff Reid, den ich Ende der Achtzigerjahre kennen gelernt hatte.

Es ist faszinierend, was Complete Genomics mit den $91 Millionen Dollar unternimmt, die es bislang aufgebracht hat. Es hat einen Betrieb zur Sequenzierung von Genomen aufgebaut und plant in den kommenden Jahren den Aufbau weiterer Einrichtungen. Viele wissenschaftliche und kommerzielle Forschungseinrichtungen wünschen eine solche Anlage, genau wie diverse Länder.

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