Ever since the human genome was sequenced in 2000, there’s been talk of a “$1,000 genome” — the ability to map an individual’s complete genome for one thousand U.S. dollars.
Life Technologies announced yesterday that it has achieved that milestone with the release of the new benchtop Ion Proton Sequencer, which is designed to sequence the entire human genome in a single day (existing DNA sequencing technologies take a week or longer) for $1,000 USD.
Priced at $149,000 USD (a fraction of the cost of existing DNA sequencing technologies), the Ion Proton Sequencer is based on the next generation of semiconductor sequencing technology.
Literally “sequencing by synthesis,” the technology detects hydrogen ions that are released during the polymerization of DNA. Ion semiconductor sequencing differs from other sequencing technologies in that no modified nucleotides or optics are used.
The technology is likely to drive genome sequencing into the clinic in a big way — the price of equipment and reagents is affordable for large medical practices or hospitals. Since every state requires newborns to be screened for at least 29 genetic diseases, babies may be some of the first to have their entire genome sequenced in a healthcare setting.
Source: Life Technologies