DNA

Genome Sequencing’s Affordable, and Frightful, Future

DNA

“Genome sequencing will become more widely used as the cost drops to $1,000 in coming months, manufacturers and researchers say. Navigenics, 23andMe, and other companies that offer test kits for home use and post results on a secure site have been scanning the genome for individual markers of ancestry and health risks for years. These companies, whose services are branded as “recreational” and cost anywhere from $100 to thousands of dollars, have taken criticism for lacking precision and overstating the weight of their findings. Now whole genome sequencing, which provides a far more detailed view of an individual’s protein-making machinery, is becoming affordable enough to become a routine diagnostic tool—on par, price-wise, with an MRI—as well as a way to find out how much Neanderthal DNA one has, or whether one is likely to go bald.”