“If you want to take advantage of the latest plummeting price of genetic sequencing, it will be because of the Ion Proton. How did scientists find a way to get such a cheap window into our DNA?
The machine that can do that–in just two hours–is the Ion Proton, a genetic sequencer introduced by Life Technologies in January. It’s 1,000 times more powerful than its year-old predecessor, the Ion Torrent, and, at $1,000 per genome, a fraction of the price. A combination of Moore’s Law, ingenuity, and demand stand to make the Ion Proton the go-to gene decoder in a market that Life Technologies CEO Greg Lucier estimates will hit $2 billion by 2014. In turn, Life Technologies stands to make possible a future in which medicine is tailored to each individual’s DNA.
The inventor of the Ion Torrent, Jonathan Rothberg comments, “This is just the start–it’s not a magic wand, but I do believe in the next few years we’ll see an understanding of many complex disorders.” After all, giving doctors and researchers faster and easier access to DNA gives them a better look into life itself.
“Everything in the world starts with DNA,” Lucier says, “so our ability to understand how things work by understanding their computer code will allow us to do amazing things.” So while there’s no easy magic yet, there are the first glimpses into the once unknowable.”
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