9

Forget the $1000 genome, how about $100! While you wait!

 

istock_000003250707xsmall2.JPG

Would you like your genome sequenced in a matter of hours for under $100?

An article from GenomeWeb last week, “Complete Genomics, BioNanomatrix to Use $8.8M NIST Grant to Develop ‘$100 Genome’ Platform,” reveals that BioNanomatrix and Complete Genomics have partnered together to share an $8.8 million grant from the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology to “develop technology that will be able to sequence a human genome in eight hours for less than $100.”

From the article (don’t worry, I have no idea how these technologies really work either):

“The proposed sequencing platform will use Complete Genomics’ sequencing chemistry and BioNanomatrix’ nanofluidic technology. The companies said they plan to adapt DNA sequencing chemistry with “linearized nanoscale DNA imaging”to create a system that can read DNA sequences longer than 100,000 bases quickly and with accuracy “exceeding the current industry standard.””

So what does this mean for genetic genealogists? Well, considering many genetic genealogy tests cost substantially more than $100 and return a much smaller amount of sequencing, whole genome sequencing for $100 would have a pretty strong impact. Although this technology requires a considerable amount of development, there has been a lot of recent investment and remarkable progress in this area.

Blaine Bettinger

Intellectual property attorney, genealogist, and author of The Genetic Genealogist since 2007