Illumina whittles genome cost to $1,000

The human genome just got cheaper: Illumina announced Wednesday that its new gene sequencing technology can decode genomes for $1,000 a piece, a major savings, according to Gizmodo, which notes that it cost $3 billion to decode the first human genome. The tech-fan site tells readers this is not “junk science mail-order genetic testing” and is a major boon “for our key to understanding the genetic basis for diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.”

Although each sequence costs $1,000, the decoding infrastructure is a bit more: Forbes notes that delving into base pairs at that speed requires 10 of Illumina's HiSeqX Ten sequencers which cost $10 million a set.

Forbes notes that Macrogen, the Harvard-MIT Broad Institute in Cambridge, and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia have already made room for the machines.