Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Genetic sequencing: from $3B to $1K in 12 years

The cost of human genome sequencing is dropping incredibly fast. Jonathan Rothberg, CEO of Ion Torrent, claims that in a year, using their Personal Genome Machine, doctors will be able to do the job for $1,000. The new technology will allow, among other things, for efficient analysis of cancer cell mutations and development personalized drug therapies similar to the ones used to prolong Steve Jobs' life (According to Isaacson's book, Jobs' treatments cost $100K per pop.)
The key to this breakthrough, says Rothberg, is that the PGM does not rely on conventional wet chemistry to sequence DNA. Instead, it works almost entirely through conventional microchip technology, which means Ion Torrent is leveraging decades of investment in conventional transistors and chips. (click to watch a 24min video of Rothberg's talk at MIT.)
Here's a cost curve for human DNA sequencing over time. The breakthrough happened around 2007.

Source:  the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI).

tags: 10x, health, biology, computing, breakthrough

1 comment:

Igor Polk said...

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My name is Igor Polk. I have an eargent topic about TRIZ international connections to discuss with you. Ellen Domb reffered me to you. Only you can do it here. Please, contact me, or 510-582-8711.
By the way, 10 years ago I participated in Incyte Genomics efforts to make the whole human genome analysis available on a chip. My part was the image analysis system. Yes, we almost did it.