The most hyped scientific achievement of our time-the complete sequencing of the human genome in 2003-has taken awhile to make its utility obvious in clinical care. But consider:

*Nicholas Volker of Monona, Wis., has made it past the age of 5 because a full sequencing of his genome at the Medical College of Wisconsin revealed the rare genetic variant underlying the disease that was making holes in his intestines-an answer that had eluded all standard genetic testing. The research team also confirmed that his particular genetic profile made a bone marrow transplant the right treatment choice. Nicholas hasn't had an intestinal surgery since then-after enduring 100 of them before the diagnosis-and can eat real food. The medical college now reviews a steady stream of requests to sequence the genomes of children with mysterious diseases.

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