Genomics and Economics

As advances in genomics accelerate, so does the advent of rapid tests that unlock secrets. Sequencing a complete genome has progressed from rarified science to a race to profit. Its possibilities extend from translational research labs to consumer's living rooms. 
As proficiency increases, pricing decreases. And demand soars.    
Gene sequencing promises to revolutionize diagnosis and treatment by spurring the development of new drugs and therapies. According to FierceBiotech, sequencing cost a million dollars in 2007. By mid-2008, the cost dropped to $60,000. One company intends to set the price at $5,000 in 2009. Its CEO considers that the "tipping point." Effective application of sequencing data could cut billions of dollars from the cost of clinical trials and speed results.
At the other end of the scale, a company aspiring to be the "world's trusted source of personal genetic information" offers a $399 home testing kit. It was named TIME Magazine's 2008 Invention of the Year. Now the average joe can discover why he's not so average in his health and ancestry.
The widespread application of genomics is becoming increasingly feasible. Incredible knowledge will be gained. Incredible amounts of money will be made. My hope is that as market forces drive the application of new discoveries, we won't squander the possibilities.
—Tom DeSanto 
Image from, Zygote Media Group

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