last night dr.adam rutherford's two part 'the gene code' finished its run on bbc4. the first part is no longer on the i-player, but the second part, 'unlocking the code' is still there, rather here.
dr. rutherford, combines journalism-he is the editor of the science journal nature- with a degree in evolutionary biology and a phd in genetics, has an engaging manner of presentation. he makes his subject understandable to the interested layman prepared to put in some effort. the effort is worth while. after all, without a basic understanding of the science, it's becoming increasingly difficult to engage in the ethical debate over genetics and the politcal decisions which, as a society, we will have to make.
the graphs below are from the national human genome research institute.cost of sequencing a single genome cost of sequencing megabase (1,000,000 base pairs)
as you can see, with computerisation, the cost of sequencing the genome is falling so rapidly that these decisions will have to be made sooner rather than later.