The era of the $1,000 genome has arrived. That's the claim from Complete Genomics, a young company based in Mountain View, California, that revealed today that it plans to sequence 1,000 human genomes next year — and 20,000 in 2010.Complete Genomics is doing a full diploid genome sequence and will find differences in DNA that 23 and Me doesn't pick up, although at over 10 times the cost. I hope they are able to live up to their promise.
It will charge customers $5,000 to sequence a genome, says chief executive officer Cliff Reid, who estimates that the cost of materials used to generate each sequence will be around $1,000.
But don't get your hopes up: Complete Genomics won't be selling to just anyone. It also hasn't released any data to back up its claims, although it does has the backing of prominent scientists in the sequencing field, including Harvard University's George Church, who is sequencing the genomes of ten individuals in his Personal Genome Project and acts as an adviser to several sequencing companies including Complete Genomics.
The cost of DNA sequencing has dropped by a factor of 10 every year for the last four years, a faster rate of decline than even for computers, Dr. Church said.
So far, Complete Genomics has used its technology to sequence a human genome in seven days. By next year, it says that it will be producing finished genome sequences that include data from both the maternal and paternal contributions to an individual's DNA, with DNA from 99% of the protein-coding regions and 90% of the total human genome. But until the company releases more details, it is not yet clear how 'complete' its genomes are.
via Nature and NY Times