Esther Dyson on the Digital Health Revolution

Scribe Media’s Peter Cervieri interviews Esther Dyson, board member of 23andMe and one of the PGP-10.

Esther Dyson Video Scribe Media

In the interview, Esther gives her views on the history of commerce on the internet, problems with health care as we know it in the U.S., and the future of genetics.

The Gene Collector: George Church and the PGP in Wired Magazine

This month’s issue of Wired Magazine has a nice article about George Church and his Personal Genome Project. Check it out:

Thomas Goetz, “The Gene Collector” Wired Magazine, August 2008.

Geek Doctor

Pssst. Another member of the PGP-10, John Halamka, has started blogging over at Geek Doctor: Life as a Healthcare CIO. So far most of the discussion is around issues related to being responsible for the IT needs of thousands of doctors and millions of patients (and gazillions of medical records). There has not been any mention yet of personal genomes. But, his recent release of a music recording might be construed (by me, with no apologies) as a quiet nod to emerging genre of “genome pop“. Very zen, as is John. This past summer I sent him an email and received an out-of-office reply that was a Basho poem. For a split second, there was serenity in the world. :)

The X-team

The scientists and engineers in the Church lab at Harvard Medical School, who are busy developing the sequencing technology that will be used for the Personal Genome Project, will be competing in the Archon X-Prize for Genomics. The announcement was made this morning in the Boston Globe.

To win the $10M prize all we need to do is to line-up about 200 of our machines and turn them on. Well maybe its not that simple. There are also a few items on the science and engineering “To Do” list, like figure out how to drop the price of whole genome sequencing by 1 or 2 orders of magnitude.

The founding members of the Personal Genome X-team are:

Richard Terry, Greg Porreca, Jay Shendure, and Kevin McCarthy. Go team!

P.S. I wonder what George plans to do with all of those machines after competing in the X-Prize?

PGP launches new website at

I’m happy to report that the Personal Genome Project today launched a new website at

For years, George has dedicated several pages of his Harvard lab’s website to the PGP. The pages at what is now “the old” PGP site, have a…er…um… distinctive look and feel. The pages have always reminded me of a PINE terminal and the bygone era of the Web when there was no such thing as form, only function existed.

Every now and then, little pieces of flare were tacked on to the old site. I don’t mean to mislead, not everything was purely function. Some of the design flares had quite a cult following too. For example, on some pages of the site, a little string of ATGC’s would follow your mouse’s cursor around as it moved across the screen. (With regret, this feature did not make the cut for the new site)


So, it is a major milestone I think that the PGP not only has its very own domain now, but has upgraded from webpages composed of mostly black text on white background to pages with color and navigation elements.

Let me know what you think.

P.S. Lots of people helped with the site. I would like to publicly thank a handful of them here for helping the PGP with the site: Sasha, TomC, Funktion, Ward, Ricardo (thx for some of the graphics), John, Dana, Shawn, Alan, and Xiaodi and everyone else I’ve forgotten to mention. Thank you.

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