The cost of sequencing the human genome keeps decreasing and the target of 1000$ for a complete genome sequencing in a day is within reach in this decade. Actually, some smaller scale sequencing is already possible for 100$ within 8 hours (putting genome sequencing in the same class as a blood exam) for detecting specific gene. By the end of the decade someone claims that we will be able to cut the cost to 100$, 10 times more than what was foreseen just 2 years ago. Ad this thanks to an evolution pace that is faster than the evolution of electronics (Moore’s Law).
At the University of Washington researchers have created a nanopore reader that can sequence a single DNA molecule (a chromosome) using nano sensing technology. Running the molecule through the nano pore reader generates a graph like the one below, where one can easily read the sequences of ACGT molecule coding the genes.
You can take a look at the link for a complete explanation of how the nanopore reader works and the extraordinary claim that using this kind of devices (obviously perfected) one can target a complete sequencing in 15 minutes at a cost of 10 dollars!
So now the target is no longer the sequencing of the human genome, as it was in the last century (that is 12 years ago!) but to sequence all humans’ genomes! It is something that will happen in the next decade, I would be surprised if by 2030 a person would not have her genome sequenced and available just in case.
We are talking about a huge amount of data A single genome requires something like 2 GB of storage space. Multiply it for 7 billion people and you get 14 EB! It will be interesting to see what can be mined out of this huge data set.
I am pretty sure this will change the way scientists will approach the understanding of the genome. And along with that it will change many of today’s health care paradigms. To get a feeling of what I mean take a look at a news discussing what information can be derived by comparing the genome of very old people….