George Church Enters X-Prize Fray

Jeff Perkel, a past editor at The Scientist, reports: It would seem that, when it comes to the Archon X Prize for Genomics, George Church has had a change of heart. The $10 million prize will go to the first group that can sequence 100 genomes (to at least 98 percent coverage and with less than one error per 100,000 bases) in 10 days, for under $10,000 per genome. linkurl:Last year,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/36685/ Church, a Harvard geneticist and DNA sequencing pioneer, tol

By | December 5, 2007

Jeff Perkel, a past editor at The Scientist, reports: It would seem that, when it comes to the Archon X Prize for Genomics, George Church has had a change of heart. The $10 million prize will go to the first group that can sequence 100 genomes (to at least 98 percent coverage and with less than one error per 100,000 bases) in 10 days, for under $10,000 per genome. linkurl:Last year,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/36685/ Church, a Harvard geneticist and DNA sequencing pioneer, told The Scientist that he would not be competing. Church planned instead to focus on his "Personal Genome Project," an attempt to sequence one percent of the genome sequence from each of '10 individuals this year and a million individuals as soon as possible.'" But, Church said then, "If we wake up one morning and say we can snatch up $10 million easily, I don't think anyone's going to turn that down." Apparently, that morning has finally arrived. GenomeWeb linkurl:reported;http://www.genomeweb.com/issues/news/143758-1.html] today that Church has officially entered the race. His group, the Personal Genome X-Team, will be competing against five other teams, according to the linkurl:Boston Globe:;http://www.boston.com/business/globe/articles/2007/12/04/x_games_for_scientists_offers_10m_top_prize/?page=1: 454 Life Sciences, Reveo Inc., VisiGen Biotechnologies Inc., the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution, and Base4innovation Ltd. Church's strategy, according to GenomeWeb, "will employ a combination of multiplex linkurl:polony;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/14448/ sequencing strategy and haplotyping." In the meantime, Church continues work on the Personal Genome Project. Ten individuals (the "PGP-10") have already agreed to release their sequence, medical, and personal information; the Project linkurl:Web site;http://www.personalgenomes.org/ claims it will begin enrolling members of the general public starting in early 2008.

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