Genome sequencing for under $5,000

A US-based genomics company announces that it can perform genomic sequencing for under five thousand dollars. In my budget, that's "fully loaded 8-Core Mac Pro and a monitor," or "sweet new Canon 5D with one nice lens." But unlike those tools I covet, DNA is forever.


  1. Specifically, the cost of the enzymes and chemicals used is about $4400. That doesn’t factor in things like the costs of labor or equipment, so an actual sequenced genome may cost significantly more.

  2. I’m so inbred I have an identical twin cousin growing out of my elbow. It might be worth it for me.

  3. They didn’t just announce it, it is now demonstrated and published online in the journal Science:

    The announcement was made a year ago, covered in this New York Times article:

    There’s a big difference between announcing you can or will do something and proving it by publishing a paper. :-)

    There have been revolutionary cheap high-throughput sequencing technologies commercialized in the last few years. Complete Genomic’s cost is dramatically low, but it’s also important to note that even without them a genome would cost around $50-100,000 (the original human genome was several hundred million dollars!) – there are many companies competing in this field right now and this price is constantly dropping.

    Inevitably I believe we’ll be sequencing children when they’re born – a one-stop check for any genetic disorders and, as you point out, the information lasts a lifetime.

    This has new privacy implications to worry about – privacy loss that extends beyond the individual making the decision. If (when) I sequence my genome, I implicitly reveal information about my relatives – any variant I have must have come from my mother or father and has a high chance of being shared by one of my siblings. Even if you’re not with sequencing your own genome, I don’t think you can stop your relatives from choosing to do so.

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