Gene sequencing – our amazing pace of scientific progress

In my last post, I wrote about a new, NIH-sponsored genome study that should yield far-reaching insights and change the practice of medicine. When the first funding for the Human Genome Project was established by Congress in 1990, it had a proposed cost of $3 billion (in 1991 dollars) over the course of 15 years. The mapping of the first genome ended up taking 13 years to complete (completion was in 2003) and cost around $2.7 billion.

The cost of decoding a genome now costs less than $10,000 (with one company claiming to sequence a genome for as little as $1,000) and can be completed in anywhere from a few days to as little as 26 hours.

Stunning scientific progress, amazing stuff.


Sources: The Human Genome Project Completion: Frequently Asked Questions (National Human Genome Research Institute); A 26 Hour system of highly sensitive whole genome sequencing for emergency management of genetic diseases (Genome Medicine); HiSeq X Ten System (Illumina)

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