Sanger Institute

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Sanger Institute data centre, originally uploaded by matlock.

We’re working on a really exciting project (an ARG) involving history, cartography and genome research, and the Wellcome Trust are working with us so that we can base it on the bleeding edge of scientific research. So today, I was lucky enough to get to look around the Sanger Institute, where much of the DNA mapping for the Human Genome Project happened.

It was a fascinating afternoon, with conversations ranging fluidly between robotics, bio-tech, history, culture and ethics. Tom, the writer on the project, was feasting hungrily on such stimulating source material, and hopefully we’ll be able to send him up for a residency so that he can work closely with the Institue on the ARG’s story.

The announcement that they’d mapped the human genome was hailed as the beginning of an era of genome-related cures for many illnesses. But in reality we still know next to nothing for certain about how our genes interact to make proteins. Its very much like exploring a new country – the map is still full of blank spaces. I’m hoping that our project will inspire a new generation of explorers to rise to this challenge…

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