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Testing times ahead

Talk of the $1000 genome comes as UK's Human Genetics Commission consults on gene testing

Pete Moore(pete.moore@dial.pipex.com)

Friday October 4 is the deadline for replying to a consultation document from the UK's Human Genetics Commission (HGC): 'The supply of genetic tests direct to the public'. It comes amid renewed hope and hype about the future of genetic testing, with a raft of companies aiming to radically decrease the time and cost of providing individuals with genetic data.

Currently there is nothing to stop them selling these services directly to the public. American genetic entrepreneur Craig Venter claims clients are queuing up to pay £400,000 (US$620,000) for having their genome transcribed to a CD, while UK-based Solexa is aiming to give people a list of the points where critical genes vary from a pre-determined 'standard' for a fraction of that cost.

"Earlier this year the government asked the HGC to look into this and make recommendations to inform a Green Paper on genetics due out in...

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