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Published on Oct 5, 2009
IBM DNA Transistor The Future of Genome Sequencing
In an effort to build a nanoscale DNA sequencer, IBM scientists are drilling nano-sized holes in computer-like chips and passing DNA strands through them in order to read the information contained within their genetic code.
This research effort is to design a silicon-based DNA Transistor that could help pave the way to easily and quickly read human DNA, generating advancements in health condition diagnosis and treatment. The challenge in the effort is to slow the flow of the DNA through the hole so the reader can accurately decode what is in the DNA. If successful, the project could improve throughput and reduce cost to achieve the vision of personalized genome analysis at a cost of $100 to $1,000. In comparison, the first sequencing ever done by the Human Genome Project (HGP) cost $3 billion.
A human genome sequencing capability affordable for individuals is the ultimate goal of the DNA sequencing and is commonly referred to as $1,000 genome. Ultimately, it can improve the quality of medical care by identifying patients who will gain the greatest benefit from a particular medicine and those who are most at risk of adverse reactions.