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Medicine Biotech Science

Personal DNA Sequencing Machine One Step Closer 65

oxide7 writes "A new, low cost semiconductor-based gene sequencing machine has been developed and may unlock the door to advanced medicines and life itself. A team led by Jonathan Rothberg of Ion Torrent in Guilford, Conn is working on a system which uses semiconductors to decode DNA, dramatically reducing costs and taking them closer to being able to reach the goal of a $1000 human genome test. The current optical based system costs around $49000 and is already on the market and being used in over 40 countries."
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Personal DNA Sequencing Machine One Step Closer

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  • Re:Sounds great? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Saturday July 23, 2011 @09:49PM (#36860210) Homepage

    What will having your genome sequenced actually do for you, today, right now? Why should I pay $1k or even $50k for something like this?

    Virtually nothing. There have been several companies that have tried to cash in on the 'personal genomics' craze (23andMe comes to mind) that actually didn't do a whole sequence, just SNP [] (single nucleotide polymorphisms) that purported to help you determine your risk of various diseases. Except that they found precious few diseases that had clear links to SNPs. Whole genome sequencing will be even harder to figure out.

    So other than bragging rights, it does you little good. For research purposes, getting fast, accurate (and see the AC's post above concerning the Sanger Method and accuracy) and cheap sequences will be very useful. For personal use, not so much.

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.