The first human genome sequence took 13 years and cost $3 billion — now, less than a decade later, a new company promises to sequence a full genome in 15 minutes for a song. If this exponential increase in efficiency and drop in price sounds like something out of the computing industry, that's because it is. Multicore processors and customizable clusters are coming to gene sequencing, threatening to disrupt one of the most important industries in modern medicine.
A German nonprofit, called MyMicrobes, is hoping you'll want to get your gut bacteria's genomes sequenced. It's expensive, but you'll get access to one of the most exclusive social networks around, where people worldwide can, um, talk about their gastrointestinal difficulties with like-minded people. Two grand seems cheap when we put it like that!
The naked mole rat isn’t a particularly handsome devil, but there’s more to life than being pretty--like living ten times longer than other mammals your size, withstanding extremely harsh conditions without breaking a sweat, or beating cancer. The naked mole rat does all of these things without really trying, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that British researchers are sequencing the un-cuddly rodent’s genome looking for clues to its longevity and fortitude.