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Biotech The Almighty Buck Science

Graphs Show Costs of DNA Sequencing Falling Fast 126

Posted by timothy
from the we've-got-your-number dept.
kkleiner writes "You may know that the cost to sequence a human genome is dropping, but you probably have no idea how fast that price is coming down. The National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the US National Institute of Health, has compiled extensive data on the costs of sequencing DNA over the past decade and used that information to create two truly jaw-dropping graphs. NHGRI's research shows that not only are sequencing costs plummeting, they are outstripping the exponential curves of Moore's Law. By a big margin."
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Graphs Show Costs of DNA Sequencing Falling Fast

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  • by MoobY (207480) <anthony&liekens,net> on Sunday March 06, 2011 @11:22AM (#35397588) Homepage

    We've been observing this decrease over the last few years at our sequencing lab too. Some people might find it fascinating, but I, as a bioinformatician, find it frightening.

    We're still keeping up at maintaining and analysing our sequenced reads and genomes at work, but the amount of incoming sequencing data (currently a few terabytes of data per month) is increasing four-to-five-fold per year (compared to doubling each 18-24 months in Moore's law). Our lab had the first human genomes at the end of 2009 after waiting for almost 9 years since the world's first human genome, now we're getting a few genomes per month. We're not too far away of running out of installing sufficient processing power (following Moore's law) and no longer being able to process all of this data.

    So yes, the more-than-exponential decrease in sequencing costs is cool and offers a lot of possibilities in getting to know your own genome, advances in personalized medicine, and possibilities for population-wide genome sequencing research, but there's no way we'll be able to process all of this interesting data because Moore's law is simply way too slow as compared to advances in biochemical technologies.

  • Costs Falling Fast? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Sunday March 06, 2011 @03:01PM (#35399466) Homepage Journal

    That's monetary cost - not social and personal. ;-)

    Soon the $ cost will be free - and mandatory. If you want to fly, or even drive a car.

    Hey! And to think, they said it couldn't happen here!

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