Recorded: 03 Mar 2006
Well, I’m very excited about them, you know, especially for some of the applications that they are intended for. I know a little bit about the technology. The problem with them is that they generate sequence, large amounts of sequence very, very quickly. The quality isn’t all that good. So for those cases where you don’t care about the quality but you just want quantity, I mean, they’re perfect in the sense they could replace now armies of sequencers that we used in the past; we could only have just a couple of those sequencers and you get the same amount. So my sense tells me it won’t be very long before that large quantity will also happen with better quality. I think we are approaching the breakthrough in sequencing, but I predicted that also fifteen years ago. It didn’t come to pass. That’s the beauty of research, you never know!
Ari Patrinos, currently is a president of Synthetic Genomics, Inc. He is best known for his leading roles in the development of the U.S. Global Change Research Program and the U.S. Human Genome Project. He earned his undergraduate degree from the National Technical University of Athens and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and astronautical sciences from Northwestern University.
Patrinos has worked in Department of Energy (DOE) Laboratory system since 1973. His research area includes biomedical engineering, atmospheric turbulence, environmental chemistry, climate change, and statistical methods. In 1995 he became the Associate Director for Biological and Environmental Research in the DOE Office of Science and was responsible for human and microbial genome programs, structural biology, nuclear medicine and health effects, global environmental change. He helped create the DOE's Joint Genome Institute (JGI) in 1997 and developed the DOE's Genomes to Life Program.
He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Geophysical Union, and a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.