Life Technologies Corp., a Carlsbad, Calif., genomics company, plans to introduce Tuesday a machine it says will be able to map an individual's entire genetic makeup for $1,000 by the end of this year. Moreover, the machine and accompanying microchip technology, both developed by the company's Ion Torrent unit, will deliver the information in a day, the company says.
If Life Technologies delivers on the claim, it would likely make the company the first among a group of rivals racing to produce a $1,000 gene map. The current cheapest sequencing costs about $3,000 and takes a week.
The goal, triggered in part by an initiative launched by the U.S. government's National Human Genome Research Institute in 2004, already has resulted in a dramatic cost reduction in sequencing all three billion units of DNA, known as base-pairs, that make up the human genetic code.