1 cent per NT by ‘05?

Tabitha M Powledge, How many genomes are enough? The Scientist, November 17, 2003.

Buried in a discussion about the optimal number of genomes needed for comparitive genomics is the following graf:

Sequencing costs have dropped several orders of magnitude, from $10 per finished base in 1990 to today’s cost, which Green estimates at about 5 or 6 cents per base for finished sequence and about 2 to 4 cents for draft sequence. For some comparisons, draft sequence is adequate. Last spring NHGRI projected future cost at about a cent per finished base by 2005.

Although the plummeting price of sequencing is welcome, it is due to incremental improvements on the basic technology. “What we’re all praying for is one of those great breakthroughs—a new technology that will allow us to read single-molecule sequences, or whatever the trick is going to be that will give us several orders of magnitude increase in speed and reduced cost,” Robertson said. Teams of competitive technology developers around the world are racing toward that goal, cheered on by a lot of casual prophecy about the $1000 genome.

UPDATE: Randall Parker over at FuturePundit.com has commented on this article.


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