Saturday, September 25, 2010

"Bubbly" Pauline & the $1000 genome

I'm currently reading Kevin Davies' new book, "The $1000 Genome", which is an account of the various players trying to bring down the cost of human genome sequencing to commodity levels that would make having your own genome sequenced a practical reality. Although I know some of the technologies described in the book from my work, Davies' book focuses not only on the technical side but on the business/economic side as well and is written for the general reader. It's quite well written and interesting, and I recommend it. But what made me burst out laughing was encountering the following line:

"An important next step was to compare the data from Venter and Watson, which was first done by Pauline Ng, a bubbly Venter Institute researcher."

Pauline is a colleague and friend of mine who now leads a group at the Genome Institute of Singapore. We wrote a review chapter together on the human microbiome in a book that should be coming out soon. I suppose if you had to sum her up in a single adjective, "bubbly" works. But I guess I find the idea of someone I know being reduced to a journalistic cliché kind of amusing.


Pedro Beltrao said...

wow, scientific books are expensive ~$170. Maybe specialized books like these are the ones that are going to benefit more from electronic editions.

Jonathan Badger said...

Yeah, I won't be offended if you don't rush out and buy a copy of the book with our article. I'm not entirely convinced that these types of books (which are really collections of solicited review articles on a given subject rather than a coherent book) really are necessary -- but Pauline was the invited author and she asked me to help her with it (as her work is more human than microbial).