Wednesday, October 16, 2002

GSAC Conference

Two weeks ago, at the Genomic Sequencing and Analysis Conference (GSAC) in Boston, there was a debate over the cost of sequencing an individual human being's genome and burning it onto a CD. One group argued that it could be done in three years at a cost of $1000. The other group argued that it would take five years before such a CD could be stamped at that price point.

Think about that.

If you combine the cost of the Human Genome Project with the operating and research costs of the Celera Corporation, you come to something like $5 billion to sequence the first human genome (Dr. Craig Venter's genome). Now they're talking about doing it for $1,000 when a baby is born and handing over the child's genome disk to the mother when she leaves the hospital.

The speed at which genomic science is moving is literally breath-taking.