Genomics X-Prize looking for centenarians

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16 Responses to “Genomics X-Prize looking for centenarians”

  1.  Please, oh please, let the winning team be named the Howard Foundation.

  2. saurabh says:

    Unlike the Ansari X Prize, it seems possible that someone might actually be able to do this at less cost than the prize amount. But – why focus on centenarians? The heritability of longevity isn’t really that high, and you’re probably not going to learn a whole lot from just sequencing a heterogeneous population of old people.

    The point of this prize is to merely scale up the ability to do general high-throughput sequencing of individual genomes – the target isn’t that significant. Centenarians are a relatively morally-neutral choice – everyone wants to live longer, and it’s not as uncomfortable implying a genetic basis to longevity as it is to imply one for, say, intelligence or physical fitness.

  3. querent says:

    “The heritability of longevity isn’t really that high….”

    I’m not active in this field, but the one Gerontology text that I’ve read disagrees with the above statement.

  4. Lee Robinson Petzer says:

    It really does seem that the only way to get anything done in terms of research is to place a large prize at the finish line. (Look what it did for private aerospace). This is a superb project for this!

    The genetic information obtained should provide invaluable material for anti-aging and life extension research.

  5. Lobster says:

    Irving KAAAAAAAAHN!?

  6. awjt says:

    I don’t know why they don’t just mine the cemeteries.  The genetic history contained within one would be enough fodder for a thousand years of analysis.

  7. Warren_Terra says:

    The math here doesn’t make sense. At $100,000 a genome, they’re offering way over the odds. I’ve done invertebrate genomes, not human ones – but 30x coverage of a human genome, which would be ample for most purposes, would run much closer to $10,000 than to $100,000. Sure, lining up the tissue donors is a bit of an issue, and the analysis, overhead, and oversight cost money, but I can’t see how it approaches tens of thousands per person.

  8. noah django says:

    “Do you have a friend, grandparent, or great-grandparent who’d be interested in participating in the project?”

    >implying there are no centenarians who read BB themselves

  9. TootTootToot says:

    Interesting to see his 67 year-old son in the video too.  The guy has grey hair but otherwise he could pass for someone in his mid-40s.

  10. bob says:

    Someone should nominate Nobel Prize winner Rita Levi-Montalcini. http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1986/levi-montalcini.html

  11. Vincent Ma says:

    Please someone ask Fauja Singh (the 100 year old who competed and completed the recent Toronto Marathon) for a sample. 

  12. Chevan says:

    Personally, I’d be more interested in seeing DNA methylation and histone modification profiles than the genome sequence.

  13. MeOnBoingBoing says:

    Those “ironically unhealthy lifestyle choices” are probably exactly what makes us paleo people so healthy despite going completely against conventional “wisdom”.

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