Thursday, 18 August 2011

Marijuana DNA Sequenced by Startup

Kevin McKernan was leading Life
Technologies Corp.'s Ion Torrent DNA-sequencing research when a
new business opportunity caught his eye: marijuana.

A year later, McKernan, 38, has quit his job, formed a startup run from his house in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and announced today that the company had sequenced the entire genome of the cannabis plant.

The project, which cost about $200,000, may lead to the development of treatments for cancer, pain and inflammatory diseases, he said. McKernan's company, Medicinal Genomics, is making the data public using Inc. (AMZN)'s EC2 cloud- computing system. McKernan called the work a "draft assembly," and it hasn't yet been published in a peer-reviewed academic journal.

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