Monday, August 25, 2008

Polls closed.....Helicos is right

Over 56% of you believe that full human genomes for 1000 USD will be here within 5 years. Patrice Milos of Helicos BioSciences thinks so too. I am here to tell you that they may already be here.

I had the chance to chat with Dr. Milos the other day. We spent about half an hour scouring the landscape, talking about Helicos' ambitions for clinical utility and their aims in the human research arena. It was pretty salient. Dr. Milos states that in due course it will be a matter of not IF we can sequence a genome for 1000 USD. Instead the question will be whether or not the average consumer chooses to have it done.

In case you don't know, Helicos does tSMS(TM), also known as True Single Molecule Sequencing.....Because of some confidential agreements I cannot tell you exactly what they have accomplished....but it is nothing short of spectacular.

What if you could...
Sequence thousands of samples in a single experiment?
Screen a gene signature against tens of thousands of compounds?
Discover messenger RNAs, micro RNAs and novel transcripts across thousands of tissue samples?
Sequence an entire human genome in a single day... for less than a thousand dollars?
For most of the past decade, that's been the promise of a technique known as single molecule sequencing. It's never been possible....
Until Now
To see more click here!

I spent the 30 minutes with Patrice talking about generating databases of genomes for reference. We spoke about the grand dream cohort study of 100k genomes with medical data and care.
With the promise of a billion base pairs per hour.....we could quite be ready for it THIS Year!!!
There are some limitations in read length, etc. That will need to be worked out....and it already is being worked out...But what tSMS(TM) holds for the present and future is pretty impressive.

The Sherpa Says: The Archon X Prize will bring out the best technologies and also bring about the commoditization of Genome Sequencing....and with that bring about the era of truly Genomic Medicine. But in order for that to occur we need clinical researchers to link genome findings to better health records.

1 comment:

The Medical Quack said...

Hello there, I just happened upon your blog via a search and I recently had a conversation with Dr. Milos as well. My blog is a bit more general and I cover everything but the kitchen sink but a very good interview as well.

I have quite a bit on there too about the X-Prize and George Cook's Pollenator too, who is one of the participants. It's going to get very interesting and one of the big items I worry about is getting physicians trained to work with the results in a chart and how to put this in to electronic medical records too.

I had one big question for Dr. Milos and that was somewhat of a projection down the road and more of an opinion type of thing, but I wondered when this grows and we have several companies analyzing the same DNA down the road, will all the interpretations be the same..of course none of us know the answer on that but for now it's something to think and talk about:)

I am in the tech side of healthcare, but it's all software no matter which direction you turn!