The Race To Collect Genomes

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In April, the precision medicine field got what researchers hope is a shot of adrenaline with the announcement by AstraZeneca that it will sequence the genomes of two million clinical trial participants. Barely a month later, the National Institutes of Health revealed its largest award yet out of of President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative: $142 million for the Mayo Clinic to collect genetic information on a million people. The two announcements are part of a push—from both the public and private sectors—to build massive biobanks that enable a new kind of medical data mining.

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