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Venter to Increase Sequencing Prize 10- to 20-fold, Seeks Input from Community

HILTON HEAD, SC, Oct. 19 (GenomeWeb News) - Two years ago, when GSAC was still called GSAC, Craig Venter created a $500,000 prize  for a person or organization that develops technology that can "significantly advance" automated DNA sequencing toward the $1,000 genome.


Yesterday, at the meeting that replaced GSAC, the Genomes, Medicine and the Environment Conference, held here this week, Venter said he plans to increase the so-called Genomic Technology Prize between 10- and 20-fold because, he said, not enough was being done quickly enough to meet his challenge.


Following presentations by officials from Solexa, 454, and Helicos, three of the leading next-generation DNA-sequencing companies, Venter said that the sequencing community needs additional incentives, and said the prize increase is meant to "accelerate the field."


Shortly after 5:30 p.m., in an impromptu addendum to the day's presentations, Venter said he would discuss terms of the augmented award with the scientific community. "Despite what you've heard here" this afternoon, he joked, things are not moving quickly enough.


GMEC is organized by the J. Craig Venter Institute. The conference had previously been called the Genome Sequence and Annotation Conference.

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