The cost of whole genome sequencing that was around $10 million in 2007 will be around $1000 by the end of 2013 and is projected to be under $100 in a three years’ time.
The genetic testing market is estimated to reach $25 billion annually by 2021.
With the Ion Proton System — a $100,000 machine that can sit on top of a table — it’s not light that’s being recorded, but changes in pH balance. The DNA snippets being sequenced are attached to tiny beads sitting in as many as a billion tiny wells on a custom-designed semiconductor chip. The chip is flooded with DNA nucleotides, and when a base snaps into place, a hydrogen ion is released and recorded.
Life Technologies can sequence the exome — the 1 percent of the genome we know how to interpret — for $500. “In three months, we’ll be able to do one entire human genome for $1,000,” predicts Rothberg, whose first company, 454 Life Sciences, was the one that sequenced James Watson’s genome.
Eric Topol, a professor of genomics and director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in San Diego, says chip sequencing — without expensive reagents — has the potential to be “remarkably cheaper” than traditional optical sequencing.
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He gave the recent keynote presentation at Monte Jade event with a talk entitled the Future for You. He gave an annual update on molecular nanotechnology at Singularity University on nanotechnology, gave a TEDX talk on energy, and advises USC ASTE 527 (advanced space projects program). He has been interviewed for radio, professional organizations. podcasts and corporate events. He was recently interviewed by the radio program Steel on Steel on satellites and high altitude balloons that will track all movement in many parts of the USA.
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