Genome-Mapping Peddled on E-Bay: A Bargain at $68,000

April 23, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Knome, a Cambridge, MA company offering commercial whole-genome sequencing services to individuals, (wealthy individuals that is) is offering one lucky bidder on eBay with at least $68,000 in their pocket, a chance to have their complete DNA sequenced and mapped. Why would a person want such a service you may ask? Well, for those folks that want nothing left to chance, gene sequencing may offer valuable health information, predicting what diseases they may develop based on certain genetic markers.

The unusual eBay auction begins on Friday and will continue for 10 days. The opening bidding will start at $68,000, which is a huge price reduction from the company’s original price of $350,000 charged when Knome was first created in 2007. The company now charges $99,000 for complete whole-genome sequencing. Eventually the price is expected to go down further, someday making such a service available to everyone.

Scientists say each person has 6 billion chemical units of DNA that make up a person’s 46 chromosomes, making sequencing of each unit a massive task.

The proceeds from the eBay auction will be donated to the X Prize Foundation, which is offering a $10 million prize to the first group of 17 entrants who can sequence 100 human genomes in 10 days, at less than $10,000 per genome.

The winning bidder will also be awarded an opportunity to have dinner with Knome’s founder George Church, professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, to break bread and talk DNA and genome sequencing with the brainy scientist.

Source


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7 Responses to “Genome-Mapping Peddled on E-Bay: A Bargain at $68,000”

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