Soon doctors could be able to decode the human genome with tests costing no more than $1,000 thanks to new semiconductor-based gene sequencing technology.
By decoding a human genome, doctors are able to know what diseases a particular human being might be vulnerable to and advise on precautionary treatment, something that can help save lives.
The first human genome decoding took place in 2001 and cost $1 billion. Afters years of research, the cost of decoding a genome has been brought down to $49,000 but that amount is still quite expensive for most people.
One company in the race to develop a $1,000 genome test is San Francisco-based Ion Torrent Systems, whose inventor Jonathan Rothberg has managed to decode the genome of Intel co-founder Gordon Moore.
Ion Torrent has come up with a way of decoding the genome using semi conductors instead of light, significantly reducing the cost of the entire process. The company is not only trying to reduce the cost of the test but also speed up the time in which a genome is decoded.
“The reductions in cost and time for generating DNA sequence have resulted in a range of new sequencing applications in cancer, human genetics, infectious diseases,” Rothberg wrote, in an article about thes latest developments in the science journal Nature.