Thoughts on the $1,000 genome, circa 2007

By Razib Khan | December 4, 2011 7:25 pm

You’ve probably read Andrew Pollack’s DNA Sequencing Caught in Deluge of Data, by now. This section caught my eye: “The cost of sequencing a human genome — all three billion bases of DNA in a set of human chromosomes — plunged to $10,500 last July from $8.9 million in July 2007, according to the National Human Genome Research Institute.” Wow, what a drop! I am rather sure now that we will see the $1,000 genome within the next 4 years, at the latest. Even if a firm loses money on the venture, they’ll gain so much publicity that once the per unit loss is small enough someone is going to do it.

This brings me to an old link. Question of the Year:

The sequencing of the equivalent of an entire human genome for $1,000 has been announced as a goal for the genetics community, and new technologies suggest that reaching this goal is a matter of when, rather than if. What then? In celebration of its upcoming 15th anniversary, Nature Genetics is asking prominent geneticists to weigh in on this question: what would you do if this sequencing capacity were available immediately? This new Nature Genetics ‘Question of the Year’ website, sponsored by Applied Biosystems, will reveal their answers. The website will be updated monthly, so check back regularly to get a glimpse of the future of genetics.

Most of the responses are in 2007, with a few in early 2008. All the heavy hitters you have read about on this weblog are there.

MORE ABOUT: Personal genomics

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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


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