Back in 2004, Life Science Insights surveyed a group of genome experts for opinions on the date when cheap human genome sequencing would be available. Here is a summary of what they said:
Forty percent of the genome experts interviewed by LSI believe that the $1000 genome will not be reached within ten years. This compares to a mere 17% who believe it will be here in five years. Ten percent of respondents said that scientists would not even reach the $100,000 genome within ten years. Clearly, there is disagreement over how fast these technologies are developing.
Predictions are fun to watch play out over time, particularly when expert opinions vary wildly. Remember GeneSweep? The experts in this contest made predictions about the number of genes in the human genome. They ranged from 25,000 - 300,000. Here is a snapshot of the distribution of bets, dating from March 2003:
With such wildly different opinions about the future of personal genomics, perhaps a Long Bet is in order. GenomeSweep anyone?
Zachary Zimmerman, The Promise of the $1000 Human Genome (PDF). Life Science Insights, October 2004.
GeneSweep History from Cold Spring Harbor.
Internet Archive snapshot of GeneSweep page from March 2003.
In case you’re wondering, the winner of GeneSweep was Lee Rowen from the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle. Her prediction was 25,947 genes.