But the Real Question Is, Will There Be a 'Buy It Now' Option?

Knome puts its sequencing service up for auction on eBay.

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This era is marked by media-precedents laid out in YouTube (Regulatin' Genes or Genome Based Economy), eBay Auction (Human Genome via eBay) and Blogs such as this one and news-columns in which I called George Church
"The Edison of PostModern Genomics"

He seemed to like it and noted that he had not been called that name before.

George seems to be doing even better than Alva Thomas, however. When he established the Edison Electric Light Company, he put down a price tag for one sixth of his Company for a sum that he considered outrageous, but why not try for fun? (Today, the 1978 silver dollar sum would be up to $12.5 M). To his pleasant surprise, the document was signed in a heart beat:

"The documents establishing the Edison Electric Light Company, signed on November 15, 1878, provided Edison $50,000 in return for one-sixth of the newly formed company; Edison retained ownership of the remaining five-sixth. In return Edison obligated himself to assign to the company all his exiting "inventions, discoveries, devices and improvement" in electric lighting, heating, power, engines, and generation (including a specified list of patent application) and all his future "inventions, discoveries, devices and improvement" in these areas for the next 17 years"

Edison's cardinal selling point was obviously not the worth of 1/6 of a company - but his unique domain expertise and IP. By investing in domain expertise both sides made an unbelievable deal.

As the Genomeweb writer sharply notes, just the private dinner with Prof. Church might well be worth the $68,000 asking price - for both parties. For George, there is not much to do other than enjoying a nice meal with a very astute person, since Complete Genomics (as one of the 19 or so and counting Genome Companies that he is on the Board of Advisors) might do the sequencing at a deep discount of their list price of $5k. Or, even for free, since the proceeds go for the X-Prize that Complete Genomics is aiming for.

There is no mentioning of the Silver Box (a Knome brand to deliver the memory stick in, containing the DNA info) that would set George back by some small change. Also, there is no mentioning that the kind man Prof. Church would uncharacteristically spoil a nice dinner by talking about dreadful hereditary diseases that might lurk in the full genome of the lucky dinner-companion. Nobody knows it in full yet, anyway - the task will be up for Personal Genome Computers. One blogger already desired to have his DNA on his hard drive (of what computer and searching for what with what kind of software?)

Dinner conversation, like a year ago at BioIT in Boston, end of April (for which his eBay stunt is perfectly timed, if for no other reason to make it a top conversation topic) past a brief recollection of the time of appearance of Home Computers - when people asked "why would anyone need a computer at home?" - will gravitate back to the timely business of ramping up the Personal Genome Computer era, that I tested and found viable at the previous BioIT, thereafter outlined in a Google Tech Talk.

For HolGenTech that I Founded in 2009 to provide Informatics for the Genome Based Economy (OS and Killer Apps for Personal Genome Computers) all this is terrific news, for I can set another precedent here by putting for a bid 1/6 of my Company along with my domain expertise and IP in informatics of recursive genome function. The only reason that I am reluctant to throw in a free lunch is that supposedly there is no such thing.

Ultimately, the domain expertise was worth the lion-share of the formative times of Edison/Tesla, (or Fermi/Szilard/Oppenheimer) and also in the comparable scientific/technological revolution towards a Genome Based Economy, in which one pillar is Affordable Full DNA Sequencing, another is Personal Genome Computing, the two forming a palisade with the third; Genome Based Personalization (for Preventive Medicine and DNA-guided Consumer Choices for nutrients, food additives, drugs, cosmetics, all consumer products, environments - and even friends).