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NHGRI Gives GenomeVision $1.6M to Make Gene Sequencing Cheaper

NEW YORK, Oct. 8 - GenomeVision Service today said it has won a $1.6 million grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute to develop new technologies that can cut the cost of genome sequencing.


GenomeVision, the commercial-services arm of Genome Therapeutics and the only private enterprise to participate in the Human Genome Project, will use the money in this two-year grant to reduce between five- and ten-fold the sequencing cost of large-scale gene-sequencing projects.


Specifically, the Waltham, Mass.-based company said it will seek to reduce to nanoliters from microliters the minimum amount of DNA needed, and to develop "standard instruments" that can use microtiter plates to perform gene analysis.


Trimming the costs associated with gene sequencing is all the rage nowadays. A similar adventure is underway at a neighboring nonprofit facility: Craig Venter's new sequencing center plans to nurture a number of sequencing technologies, beginning with US Genomics'.


The Cheap Genome was even the topic of a plenary discussion at TIGR's GSAC meeting last week. The chat session, which was chaired by J. Craig, showcased a handful of companies that some say may be invited to the Venter Center.

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