Navigenetics and Personal Genomics

The field of personal genomics is just beginning. With recent advances in sequencing, whole genome sequencing (or whole genome SNP analysis) has become increasingly affordable. While the Human Genome Project cost $3 billion for one genome, Watson’s genome was sequenced for $1 to 2 million just a few years later.

In addition to the oft-discussed start-up company 23andMe, a least one other personal genomics company has announced its intention to offer sequencing and analysis to consumers. Navigenetics, based in Redwood Shores, California, describes itself as:

“[A] privately held company offering personalized, genetics-based consumer health and wellness services to our members. Our founders and advisors include leading genetic scientists, physicians, genetic counselors, bioethicists, patient advocates, health policy and technology experts and a management team that has launched some of the most successful online health and information resources of our time.”

Navigenetics’ website makes it clear that the company is strongly focused on the medical application of genetic information:

“[The company will] screen your whole genome and compare it to the most up-to-date research on the genetic foundation of conditions such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. We then provide you with clinically based knowledge to help you take positive steps to live as long and healthy a life as possible.”

While 23andMe has partnered with Illumina to offer sequencing, … Click to read more!


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


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 … Click to read more!