A British company says it will soon offer 24-hour gene sequencing while a US scientist who helped decode the human genome aims to provide genomes on a CD by later this year.

Solexa, created by two Cambridge University Scientists, says it is working toward a quicker process for mapping someone’s genes that will hopefully allow it to decode a genome in a day for about $1,000.

Meanwhile, Craig Venter, former president of Celera Genomics, which competed with the publicly funded Human Genome Project, aims to sequence a genome in a week for about $712,000.

Part of routine care

Solexa’s vision is for people to visit their doctor for a blood test that would be used to provide them with a map of their genetic code. This information could then be kept in cofidentiality with the rest of someone’s medical records, providing health professionals with insight into medical conditions and treatments.

The company, established in 1998, uses a nanotechnology tool it calls the Single Molecule Array to simultaneously analyze hundreds of millions of molecules.

Venter, who recently revealed that his own DNA was used for Celera’s work, is spending $25 million for his genome company, which currently seems geared more toward millionaires than the general public.


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