Calibration Point For Falling DNA Sequencing Costs

Randall Parker notes a useful reference point for those of us who like to keep a weather eye on the falling costs of DNA sequencing and related bioinformatics - and the consequences thereof.

Cambridge Massachusetts 2003 venture capitali start-up Helicos Biosciences claims that by 2007 Helicos will be selling a machine that will sequence a person's genome for $5000.

...

Incredibly cheap DNA sequencing will be occasion for a massive biomedical and social science project to compare the DNA sequences and large amounts of biomedical and behavioral and other information between millions of people.

Some of the commenters have expressed skepticism as to the plausibility of this timeline (rightly so, I suspect - it seems a little aggressive). However, the more important thing here is that venture funding organizations have bought into this timeline ... and are presumably still buying into this timeline. This is the sort of short time frame that venture investors like to put money on; hence more funding leading to more progress across the board leading to more aggressive estimates of short time frames. It's a positive feedback loop that drops ever more money into development until breakthroughs are made or the bottom drops out of this miniature bubble.

Now if we could just make faster progress in organizing one of these positive feedback loops for funding research into healthy life extension medicine...

Comments

What will fight aging matter in the end? Think about it...The means to get there involves true evil which is pretty much "science"...

Posted by: Disciple for Christ at May 7th, 2005 7:36 PM

Fortunately, people like you have failed to effectively hold back science, progress and better lives in the name of your hypocritical pro-suffering, pro-death views.

I very much doubt you've lived a day in your life without benefiting enormously from the existence of modern medicine and science, yet you'd cheerfully deny your descendants the chance at the same and better.

Posted by: Reason at May 7th, 2005 7:57 PM

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