Low cost genome test competition increasing
Several companies are trying to discover low cost genome tests that will be priced below one thousand dollars. Numerous technical developments are providing promises to reduce the cost of such tests and simultaneously speeding the amount of time it takes to provide a report. The analysis of an individual’s genetic setup provides a personal report on the potential health hazards and the possible therapies available. The first genome report was discovered in 2001 at the cost of one billion dollars. Researchers have since then been trying to develop less expensive DNA sequence technologies.
Ion Torrent System’s new technology
One of these low cost DNA sequence tests is provided by a San Francisco based company known as Ion Torrent System Inc. The tests use a semi conductor chip that senses the DNA setup instead of a light. Therefore, the cost is significantly reduced as the need for expensive equipment is eliminated. In addition, the results are provided faster with this method. The Company has been able to scan three bacterial strains and one human genome setup with this new technology.
The working of the system
The semi conductor chip used to test the DNA is similar to the chips used by a digital camera. In some way, the technical development of this technique can be compared to the development of digital cameras. According to the officials, the initial technology was unable to provide clarity to the pictures that has since improved with new technical developments.
The technology will hit the market soon
Dr, Maneesh Jain, the marketing vice president of Ion Torrent said that the coveted under one thousand dollar DNA sequencing technology is expected to be released soon. According to Dr. Jain, low cost DNA scan technology has significant potential to apply in numerous fields. For instance, if such a technology is able to decode the bacterial strain quickly, the possibility of an epidemic can be reduced. The strain could be identified quickly and traced back to the routes.
Applications of the new technology
Several applications for the cheap and fast DNA sequencing technology are available. The personalized medical treatments can avoid trial and error methods to cure an individual. This simplifies the process of providing the right treatment to patients. In addition, the study of an individual’s genes could provide an understanding on the potential illness that can affect the individual. Therefore, the necessary precautions at the right time can be taken to reduce the risks.