October 19, 2009 10:53 AM Subscribe
I.B.M. Joins Pursuit of $1,000 Personal Genome
posted by storybored (47 comments total)
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The target is remarkable given that the original Human Genome Project
successfully sequenced the first genome less than ten years ago and cost roughly $500 million to $1 billion. Advances in sequencing technology puts Moore's Law to shame: "In the last four to five years, the cost of sequencing has been falling at a rate of tenfold annually, according to George M. Church, a Harvard geneticist. In a recent presentation in Los Angeles, Dr. Church said he expected the industry to stay on that curve, or some fraction of that improvement rate, for the foreseeable future.
The old way of doing things was laborious
. The new way involves "a 'DNA transistor,' which it hopes will be capable of reading individual nucleotides in a single strand of DNA as it is pulled through an atomic-size hole known as a nanopore. A complete system would consist of two fluid reservoirs separated by a silicon membrane containing an array of up to a million nanopores, making it possible to sequence vast quantities of DNA at once...[the goal is to build a machine that could sequence] an individual genome of up to three billion bases, or nucleotides, 'in several hours.' "