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Illumina promises sequencing for $1000 per genome

The machine has the capability to churn out thousands of genomes per year at the nominal cost of $1,000 a genome.

By Ananth Baliga

San Diego-based genetic technology company Illumina has announced a machine that can sequence a human genome for $1,000.

The new product, called HiSeq X Ten Sequencing System, was launched at the annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. The $1 million sequencer comes in a set of 10 units and can generate 1.8 Tb of sequencing data in 3 days and up to 600 Gb in a single day at no more than $1,000 per genome.

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"Breaking the ‘sound barrier’ of human genetics not only pushes us through a psychological milestone, it enables projects of unprecedented scale," said Illumina CEO Jay Flatley.

This cost includes typical instrument depreciation, DNA extraction, library preparation, and estimated labor. A number of companies have placed orders for the product, including the Broad Institute, an independent biomedical research center affiliated with MIT and Harvard.

"Over the next few years, we have an opportunity to learn as much about the genetics of human disease as we have learned in the history of medicine,” said Broad Institute founding Director Eric Lander.

The term "$1,000 genome" comes from the Archon X-prize that challenged teams to build machines that could sequence 100 genomes in 30 days or less, with minimal errors and at a cost of $1,000 per genome.

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[Illumina]

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