Print 21 comment(s) - last by MarkHark.. on Oct 7 at 5:04 PM

The X Prize Foundation gained massive exposure and wide appeal over two years ago for its race to space, now it's time for the human genome

The X Prize Foundation, well known for its $10 million prize for private spaceflight, is back at it again.  This time around, $10 million will go to the first group responsible for processing the genetic codes of 100 people in only 10 days.  The goal of the project is to further help the advancement of gene sequencing and genetics.  A further $1 million prize awaits the winning team if they are also able to sequence 100 celebrities and benefactors chosen by the foundation.


Companies are working diligently to try and be able to sequence a person’s genome in one day while cutting the cost of the process to under $1,000.  A medical revolution could realistically be on the horizon if the cost of DNA sequencing can be lowered enough – the theory is that doctors would be able to decode a patient’s genome as part of a routine medical treatment, which would also lead to further personalized medicine.


Scientists have successfully mapped out the human genome, but it was an expensive, time-consuming task.  The advancement required to win the prize in the proper time frame may be at least five years away.  Scientists know that someone will be able to do it – it is just a matter of when.

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By Chillin1248 on 10/5/2006 8:54:27 PM , Rating: 2
Who funds the X-Prize foundation? This organization is really turning out to be interesting and could become much more of a daily talk item soon if they continue with succesful projects based on helping people (though spacecraft helping is subjective).


RE: Backround
By Loc13 on 10/6/2006 9:20:42 AM , Rating: 2
If i remember correctly, recently the woman who flew to space is the Board of Trustees in the X-Prize foundation.

RE: Backround
By crystal clear on 10/6/2006 9:47:08 AM , Rating: 3
Board of Trustees
The current Board of Trustees is comprised of the following:

Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Chairman;
Robert K. Weiss, Vice Chairman;
Eric Anderson, Anousheh Ansari, Amir Ansari, Jack Bader, Richard Garriott, Ron Henges, William Holekamp, Takafumi Horie, Kevin Kalkhoven, Byron Lichtenberg, Erik Lindbergh, Gregg Maryniak, Diane Murphy, Elon Musk, Rod O'Connor, Larry Page, Adeo Ressi, Richard Sugden, Barry Thompson, and Craig Venter

RE: Backround
By crystal clear on 10/6/2006 10:05:56 AM , Rating: 2
Go to their Website its all there

A shame
By Crysalis99 on 10/5/2006 10:26:07 PM , Rating: 2
It is a real shame i didn't go into bio-engineering.

Oh Well, if some one is looking for a coffee/food runner and wants to include me on a small chunk of that money, im available! :-P

RE: A shame
By jkresh on 10/6/2006 12:27:07 AM , Rating: 2
While its true that whichever group wins this (and don’t expect a win all that soon) will have a lot of potential earnings, like the space prize it is likely that significantly more then 10 million will be spent by the winning team in designing and building the project. I would be quite surprised if any team actually made a profit from the 10 million (though a machine capable of sequencing 10 people a day at a reasonable cost would be worth a lot of money).

WTB: Super Computer
By thejez on 10/6/2006 2:40:00 PM , Rating: 1
If anyone can help, I am in need of a super computer that is able to sequence a human genome in 2.4 hours or less. I have a $9,000,000 budget. If you have something in that price range please respond.


RE: WTB: Super Computer
By MarkHark on 10/7/2006 5:04:19 PM , Rating: 2

Actually, I don't think they are looking for computational power, but rather something that can simplify the "dirty" lab work of identifying each one of all the zillions of base pairs that constitute anyone's chromossomes

By yzkbug on 10/5/2006 9:27:36 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like a nice application for a Peer-to-Peer software. Let's join in our computational resources and then split $10mil :)

By Scabies on 10/5/2006 10:55:05 PM , Rating: 2
you know, there are some things in this world that should never be rushed... except price cuts :D

By AppaYipYip on 10/5/06, Rating: -1
RE: X-Prize
By Knish on 10/5/2006 9:13:07 PM , Rating: 2
Private spaceflight already had their work started before the Xprize

RE: X-Prize
By biotech on 10/5/2006 9:19:43 PM , Rating: 4
Actually the human genome has already been fully sequenced. A rough draft was published in 2003. There are however a few gaps missing at the centromeric (center) regions of the chromosomes and the ends of the chromosomes known as the telomeres. By the best estimates that amounts to about 92% of the human genome.

RE: X-Prize
By bighairycamel on 10/6/2006 7:05:15 AM , Rating: 2
The idea is to sequence it in under 10 days. Previous full genome sequencing has taken 6 months using modern methods. However, check into the Genome Sequencer 20 system from 454 LifeSciences, it is supposed to be able to do it in a few days.

RE: X-Prize
By SNM on 10/5/2006 9:50:45 PM , Rating: 2
The X-Prize is designed to attract additional investment, which it does. It's like matching funds from an employer, only better.

RE: X-Prize
By soydios on 10/6/2006 12:29:34 AM , Rating: 2
The XPrize is an added incentive for innovators to finish their work faster.

RE: X-Prize
By Helbore on 10/6/2006 4:55:24 PM , Rating: 2
Or, just as easily, that research project could attempt to win this $10 million by actually continuing their research project. If their ideas are up to snuff and there is that much money up for grabs (plus the aforementioned publicity) people will invest anyway.

It also means that other intitutes that might have the technology and the brains, but weren't interested in this research before, might get involved and, who knows, they might do a better job.

The money is there for whoever can deliver. That sounds more sensible than just giving it to an existing research program, when currently you don't know if they will be successful.

As anyone in business knows, there's more motivation in chasing the money than doing the work after you've got it.

By GhandiInstinct on 10/5/06, Rating: -1
RE: d
By retrospooty on 10/5/2006 9:12:58 PM , Rating: 2
I did too, I remember this from several years ago.

RE: d
By Knish on 10/5/2006 9:13:33 PM , Rating: 2
Second sentence of the article:

This time around, $10 million will go to the first group responsible for processing the genetic codes of 100 people in only 10 days.

RE: d
By BladeVenom on 10/5/2006 11:41:04 PM , Rating: 5
Whoa! You expect people to read two whole sentences into an article? That's just too deep man.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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