Science enters $1,000 genome era
The ability to sequence a human genome for just $1,000 has arrived, a US genetic technology company has announced. San Diego-based Illumina says it is to release a new sequencing machine that can deliver five whole genomes in a day. The race to unlock a human's genetic blueprint for $1,000 has been underway for more than a decade.
The Archon X-prize had offered $10m for a team that reached or came closest, until it was cancelled in August 2013.
The term was thought up as a symbolic landmark that would, in theory, light the fires of a long-anticipated revolution in personalised medicine.
The HiSeq X Ten high throughput genetic sequencing machine was announced at the annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco this week. The company said it had broken the "sound barrier" of human genomics.
In his presentation at the meeting, Illumina's chief executive Jay Flatley said the HiSeq X Ten would improve on the scanning speed of its predecessor by a factor of six. This would offer the ability to sequence five whole human genomes in a single day, Bio-IT World reported.
He said the $1m sequencers (sold in a minimum of 10 units) would be able to deliver a genome for just under $1,000, consistent with calculations the National Human Genome Research Institute uses to estimate sequencing costs.