Whole-genome sequencing in a day?

12 January 2012

Two companies have announced the release of bench-top sequencing machines which will be able to sequence whole genomes in one day.

 The Ion Proton developed by Life Technologies is based on semiconductor sequencing technology (see previous news), and aims to sequence whole-genomes at a cost of $1000 (£650) in a day.  Illumina have developed a bench-top sequencer which reportedly also gives users the option of sequencing a genome in a day.

Comment: Although these developments move us closer to the use of whole genome sequencing as a routine biomedical tool, the accuracy of such sequencing is yet to be determined. It is likely that in the first instance, such technologies will be used in a research setting and applied more to targeted exome sequencing. In addition, the time and cost of downstream processes such as data analysis and interpretation also need to be taken into consideration prior to widespread use in the clinic.