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The Next Revolution in Medicine: Genome Scans for Everyone

the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes | about a year ago

Medicine 0

the_newsbeagle (2532562) writes "This year, a biotech company called Ion Torrent will introduce a new chip for its genome sequencing machine, which should enable researchers and doctors to scan a complete human genome for $1000 and in just a couple of hours. Compare that to the effort required to complete the first human genome: $3 billion and 13 years. Ion Torrent has nearly reached the $1000-genome milestone by virtue of a process called "semiconductor sequencing," and the company's founder says his chip-based sequencing machine benefits from all the efficiencies of the computer industry. At a price point of $1000, genome scans could become a routine part of medicine. And the price could keep dropping. As this IEEE Spectrum article says, "Ion Torrent plans to ride Moore’s Law as far as it will go."

To test out the technology, and to investigate just how useful genome scans are these days for your typical, reasonably healthy person, the IEEE Spectrum reporter got her own genome scanned and analyzed."

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