During the past decade, researchers have identified thousands of variations within the human genome valuable for diagnostic purposes. While many companies have developed technologies to search for known variations in a patient's genome, Solexa Ltd. is taking the direct approach: sequencing the entire genome of a patient.

While the de novo sequencing of the human genome took several years, thousands of scientists and millions of dollars, President Nick McCooke says that Solexa (Cambridge, U.K.) is aiming to sequence an individual's genome within a couple of days and for a few thousand dollars.