"Anything you're proposing to fly in space, it should be in eighth grade science classes," Harvard's Gary Ruvkun tells Forbes, which is precisely why he expects that with technological advances, such as Life Technologies' Ion Personal Genome Machine, "sequencing will be done in eighth grade science classes very soon." According to Ruvkun — who has touted the power of PCR "to test for the existence of Earth-like DNA on Mars" in the past — the PGM methodology will eventually "be so cheap to put on a Mars probe that it would be silly not to," Matthew Herper at Forbes' The Medicine Show blog reports.
But in the midst of all the hoopla surrounding the Ion PGM's commercial launch, Nick Loman at Pathogens: Genes and Genomes says that while he was once "as guilty as anyone about buying into the hype," now, after hearing the machine's specs, he sees that "the tediously useful hype cycle has come into play and we’ve hit disillusionment rather earlier than expected with Ion Torrent." He does add, however, that Life Technologies' decision to "outsource the technical development to the community" — through it's $7 million contest — is a "genius move — if it works." Should the PGM's technical issues be resolved, "then the machine has a great future ahead of it," Loman says.