Cheap Genes

  • February 21, 2012

A new benchtop DNA sequencer will allow medical clinics to sequence a patient’s entire genome in a day. The system uses this disposable semiconductor chip, which has an array of microscopic wells containing known DNA templates on its upper surface. Fragments of a patient’s genome are washed over these wells, and matches between a template and the patient’s DNA trigger electronic sensors attached to the well. The chip and required reagents together cost $1,000 per genome. The sequencer will allow doctors, as part of a patient’s normal care, to test for genetic conditions or assess whether the patient is likely to respond to a particular drug.

Product: Ion Proton Sequencer
Cost: $149,000
Availability: Mid-2012
Companies: Life Technologies

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