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Rewriting Life

Single-Molecule Gene Sequencer

Most gene sequencers require thousands of copies of a DNA strand. But Helicos BioSciences’ new system can sequence a single molecule, simplifying sample preparation and decreasing cost. It can also gauge gene activity by counting messenger RNAs, molecules that help translate genes into proteins; its ability to rapidly determine chemicals’ effects on gene activity could speed drug development. With improvements to just its reagent kits, the system could ultimately deliver the $1,000 genome.

Product: HeliScope Genetic Analysis System

Cost: $1,350,000; single-use reagent kit: $18,000

Source: www.helicosbio.com

Company: Helicos BioSciences
This story is part of our January/February 2008 Issue
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