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Cheap, Effective Genome Sequencing Technology
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Application of personalized healthcare for treatment and prevention of several diseases efficiently is in increasing demand in recent times. One of the most vital tools for personalized medicine is Genome sequencing, since it offers the necessary genetic information for identification and management of particular diseases. A nano-pore based sequencer with the aim of directly reading and decoding human DNA more efficiently, quickly and formidably was developed by Roche, a leader in research-focused healthcare and biotechnology, in collaboration with IBM (Armonk, NY, USA), a leading player in the areas information technology, microelectronics,and computational biology.Their target is to decrease the sequencing cost of an individual’s genome to between $100 and $1000 as compared to $9,500-$19,500 charged by companies such as San Diego’s Illumina, one of the leaders in analysis of array-based solutions for DNA, RNA and protein which is already a radical drop in comparison to its previous $48,000 price mark.


With the aim of reducing the cost so drastically, researchers working with Roche and IBM are focusing on sequencing of true single molecule that can decode DNA molecules, since they are stranded all the way through a nanometer sized pore in a silicon chip. This is a significant approach towards cost reduction, scalability, throughput, and speed in comparison to other sequencing technologies available currently or in the process.


According to the agreement, Roche will be funding the development of the technology continuously at IBM and offer additional resources in collaboration with Roche's sequencing contributory, 454 Life Sciences. All of the technology based products will be developed and marketed by Roche.


According to Ajay Royyuru, senior manager of the department of computational biology at IBM, with the integration of biotechnology, computational biology, and nanotechnology, a system is being developed that can efficiently and accurately translate DNA into genetic information which is quite significant medically. To slow down and control the motion of DNA through the nano-pore is a major challenge of all nano-pore based technologies that the companies are trying to overcome. This is highly desirable for an accurate decoding of the DNA sequence."


According to Manfred Baier, head of Roche applied science, sequencing is an essential tool for personalized healthcare that offers the basic genetic information essential for diagnosis and treatment of various diseases. This potent technology along with the mutual strengths of Roche and IBM– will construct cost effective whole genome sequencing with faster availability to the marketplace than was earlier thought possible.
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