Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Contest to Sequence Genome of Centenarians

NatureNews reports on the Archone Genome X Prize to sequence the genomes of centenarians. The video above describes the contest. A sample from Nature's news item:

The first competitor has swaggered up to the starting line for a contest that aims to push the limits of genome-sequencing technology. The X Prize Foundation of Playa Vista, California, is offering a US$10-million prize to the first team to accurately sequence the genomes of 100 people aged 100 or older, for $1,000 or less apiece and within 30 days. Ion Torrent, part of Life Technologies of Carlsbad, California, believes that its semiconductor-based technology gives it a shot, and on 23 July it announced that it will compete.

The Archon Genomics X Prize competition, to be held in September 2013, is intended to spur technology, boost accuracy and drive down costs — currently $3,000–5,000 per genome. Peter Diamandis, the X Prize Foundation’s chief executive, says that the contest will help to establish a standard for a “medical grade” genome, with the high accuracy needed to diagnose or treat a patient. Eventually, says Michael Snyder, a geneticist at Stanford University in California, “I do see a world where you’ll have a funny-looking mole and they’ll pull that off and want to sequence its genome.”