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Genome Sequencing

Actress Glenn Close Gets a Full Genome Sequencing

posted 11:27 PM EST, Mon March 15, 2010
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Glenn Close Gets a Full DNA Sequencing © sdk

Glenn Close is now the first named woman to get a full genome sequencing. Close has bipolar and schizophrenia in the family and participated in the sequencing to increase awareness and to further scientific understanding of these and other mental health conditions.

Actress Glenn Close is now the first woman to announce her participation in a full genome sequencing – done she says, in the name of science.

The process, which costs just under $50 000, now takes about 8 weeks and reveals a full DNA mapping; which can indicate a person’s risks for certain diseases. A short while ago, a full DNA sequencing took 10 years to complete and cost 3 billion dollars, but scientist hope to push the costs down to a reasonable $1000 within a few years and hope to see genome mapping become a standard care procedure.

Glen Close is the founder of the non profit group, Bring Change2Mind, which raises awareness and acceptance of mental health illness. In the name of increasing awareness, Close has always spoken openly about the schizophrenia and bipolar which runs in her family. She says that the chance to participate in a full genome mapping was “too good to pass up” explaining, “For me, anything that can move the science forward is worthwhile. It's pretty well publicized that I have mental health issues in my family.”

Close explained that she hopes that scientists will be able to use her DNA information to gain a better understanding of the genetic basis for diseases like bipolar and schizophrenia.

Close joins Desmond Tutu and Craig Venter as celebrities who have participated in a full genome mapping.

Jay Flatley, president of Illumina, the genome mapping company that is working with Close released a statement, saying, “We are entering a new era in genomic health where information from an individual's genome will increasingly inform lifestyle decisions and ultimately assist with health management. Ms. Close has been active in health issues, and her participation helps bring attention to the potential benefits of individuals gaining access to their genetic information.”

Close says that once the process is complete, she will meet with a genetic counselor to go over the results, and “find out as much as I want to know.”

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