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.