12:00 AM
Aug 08, 2005
 |  BioCentury  |  Tools & Techniques

Short cut sequencing

Sequencing whole genomes remains a tedious and costly undertaking, and a number of companies are trying to develop cheaper and faster methods. Last week, two research teams reported that they achieved robust procedures for genome sequencing that cut costs and time significantly, although their accuracy needs improvement.

Current methods for sequencing whole genomes require cloning of fragments in bacterial vectors and amplification and purification of templates, followed by actual sequencing and subsequent electrophoresis. Costs have come down from about $1 per base pair to less than $0.01, but given the hundreds of millions of base pairs in the genomes of higher organisms, the price is still too high for many applications.

According to the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), sequencing of a mammalian genome costs about $10-$50 million and needs to come down to $1,000 to be affordable for small labs, a goal that the institute has...

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