In 2005, rice became the first crop plant whose complete genome had been compiled.
When we think of decoding the genome, we typically think in terms of the human genome.
Having the entire genome means we can begin making super corn, better, stronger, and faster growing.
By looking at how the genome varies between people with a genetic condition and people without it, we can identify the troublemaking gene.
To sequence corn's genome took four years and cost US$30 million.
The corn genome data is free for anyone to download at maizesequence.org, in case you are bored some Sunday afternoon and want to see how to make corn.
Additionally, we will at some point in the not-too-distant future have enough biological understanding of the genome and enough computer horsepower to model complex interactions in the body.
The power of the Internet and associated technologies we have so far described, combined with our new understanding of the genome, dooms disease to eventual extinction.
In late 2009, the entire genome of corn was decoded.
That three-billion-letter recipe for making you is what was sequenced—deciphered and written down—in the human genome project.
Additionally, we have deciphered the genome of diseases, from SARS to influenza.
As we understand our own genome better, we will know better how to eat in a way that is custom tailored for us.
Fifty years later, the human genome was decoded.
While we have deciphered the genome in that we have written it all down, we aren't at all sure which parts do what, as noted before.
Consider what the eminent physicist Freeman Dyson suggests in The Sun, the Genome, and the Internet:
He didn't have genome sequencing.
Is it possible to tweak our genome to remove aging?