Interviewee: Craig Venter.
Craig Venter, the leader of the private genome effort, talks about the "whole genome shotgun" technique that was used by Celera Genomics to sequence the human genome.
(DNAi Location: Genome > The project > Players > Private project > Whole genome shotgun)
The key step is obviously making a DNA sequencing library, and in the case of Celera that was the most critical step. Because with whole genome shotgun sequencing, if you don't have DNA libraries – these clones that are derived from breaking the genome down into smaller pieces that really represent the genome in a random fashion – it doesn't matter how good the rest of the techniques are of sequencing, mathematics of assembly. It doesn't matter how big your computer is, you can't regenerate the genome from it. We made several different sizes of DNA, it's another critical part in the mathematics of the assembly. So we had pieces that were two thousand letters long, pieces that were ten thousand, pieces that were fifty thousand – a new cloning technique developed by Rob Holt and Ham Smith at Celera – and pieces that were a hundred and fifty thousand letters long.