Beyond Sanger: Toward the $1,000 Genome

Courtesy of Solexa Total Genotyping Without a doubt, the quarter-century-old Sanger sequencing method performed like a champ during the Human Genome Project. But with the capacity to read only a few hundred bases per reaction, it is far too slow and expensive for routine use in clinical settings. Reaping the rewards of the genomics era will clearly require faster and cheaper alternatives. Some companies estimate that within the next five years, technical advances could drop the cost of seque

Aileen Constans
Jun 29, 2003
Courtesy of Solexa Total Genotyping

Without a doubt, the quarter-century-old Sanger sequencing method performed like a champ during the Human Genome Project. But with the capacity to read only a few hundred bases per reaction, it is far too slow and expensive for routine use in clinical settings. Reaping the rewards of the genomics era will clearly require faster and cheaper alternatives.

Some companies estimate that within the next five years, technical advances could drop the cost of sequencing the human genome low enough to make the "thousand-dollar genome" a reality. Whether or not that happens, new sequencing approaches could in the short term facilitate large-scale decoding of smaller genomes. In the long term, low-cost, rapid human genome sequencing could become a routine, in-office diagnostic test--the first step on the road to truly personalized medicine.

SINGLE-MOLECULE UP-STARTS Most of the players in this market are developing single-molecule-based methods as alternatives...

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