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The 'Arbimagical' Goal of the $1,000 Genome

Which sequencing platform will win the race to the 30X, $1,000 genome? That's what Keith Robison at Omics! Omics! wants to know. Of all the existing platforms, two are close to what Robison calls the "arbimagical" goal — a goal which is arbitrary but has achieved a magical aura from being repeated so much. ABI's SOLiD 4 platform has been said to generate a $6,000 genome, and the SOLiD 4 hq upgrade is planned for this fall with a target of delivering a $3,000 genome, Robison says. But Life Technologies could edge the SOLiD 4 aside since the hq upgrade doesn't use optimal bead packing, and since the new paired-end reagents offer 75 base pair reads in one direction but only 25 base pair reads in the other. Complete Genomics is another possible contender, Robison says, as is Illumina (whose HiSeq is supposedly at a $10,000 genome already). With other companies and other technologies waiting in the wings, the race could be tight, he adds. IonTorrent may only be two years away, and researchers, like those at GNUBio, are also working on new nanopore-based systems.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.