Today's issue of the San Jose Mercury News contains an article on how Stanford professors Stephen Quake, PhD, and Euan Ashley, MD, have turned to whole genome sequencing to identify a cause of death for a young relative of Quake's.
I wrote about the effort in Stanford Medicine magazine last year, and I was heartened to read that the work on Richie Quake's genome is homing in on a possible cause for his apparent cardiac death and that other institutions are having some success using similar techniques. As a parent, I can't imagine what it would be like to live through the unexpected death of one of my children. But, as Richie Quake's father explained to me last year, learning why he died would be a small, but welcome, consolation and could bring an end to worries about the health of other family members.
Bravo to Dr. Ashley and all his colleagues for continuing to work on problems like these.