As national correspondent for STAT, I explore the frontiers of medical research. My reporting has taken me from the hunt for new antibiotics to the mysteries of memory. Now I’m taking on my biggest project for STAT: an exploration of my own genome.
On Monday, July 11, STAT will publish the first part of a three-part series, “Game of Genomes,” about what I found. We’re publishing a special trailer today.
The project, part of an effort to learn about all our genomes, is based on the sequencing of my own. But I didn’t want to just get a conventional genetic test from a doctor or send my spit to a genealogy lab. Instead, I got my hands on the raw data of my genome and enlisted two dozen scientists to guide me through its depths.
Along the way, I got to see how my unique DNA alters the shape of the molecules that make up my body. I found out that 613 of my genes come from Neanderthals, and discovered how they are influencing my health. I learned my genome is littered with broken genes and overrun by ancient viruses. I even discovered my health is protected by mutations that are the basis for new blockbuster drugs. In the process, I learned how much our genomes can reveal to us, but also how many mysteries they hold back.
Part two of the series will appear on Monday, July 18, and part three will appear on Monday, July 25. You can sign up below to receive a notification when each part publishes.
I think you’ll enjoy the trip.