The State of DNA Sequencing

As a follow up to an earlier post on why DNA sequencing is of interest to those of us who follow longevity science, here is a look at the present state of the sequencing industry: "BGI, based in China, is the world's largest genomics research institute, with 167 DNA sequencers producing the equivalent of 2,000 human genomes a day. BGI churns out so much data that it often cannot transmit its results to clients or collaborators over the Internet or other communications lines because that would take weeks. Instead, it sends computer disks containing the data, via FedEx. ... the ability to determine DNA sequences is starting to outrun the ability of researchers to store, transmit and especially to analyze the data. ... Data handling is now the bottleneck. It costs more to analyze a genome than to sequence a genome. ... That could delay the day when DNA sequencing is routinely used in medicine. In only a year or two, the cost of determining a person's complete DNA blueprint is expected to fall below $1,000. But that long-awaited threshold excludes the cost of making sense of that data, which is becoming a bigger part of the total cost as sequencing costs themselves decline. ... We believe the field of bioinformatics for genetic analysis will be one of the biggest areas of disruptive innovation in life science tools over the next few years."



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