Sequencing outfits sign up for $60M genome project

Three top DNA sequencing companies--454 Life Sciences, Illumina and Applied Biosystems--have joined forces with the 1000 Genomes project, putting their technology to work mapping the human genome with far greater precision and speed than ever witnessed before. By mapping at least 1,000 different genomes, researchers with the $60 million effort say they'll gain a much more precise view of the genetic variations that exist between people--which will highlight important variations for medical research work.

"The additional sequencing capacity and expertise provided by the three companies in the pilot phase will enable us to explore the human genome with even greater depth and speed than we had originally envisioned, and will help us to optimize the design of the full study to follow," said Richard Durbin, Ph.D., of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, who is co-chair of the consortium. "It is a win-win arrangement for all involved. The companies will gain an exciting opportunity to test their technologies on hundreds of samples of human DNA, and the project will obtain data and insight to achieve its goals in a more efficient and cost-effective manner than we could without their help."

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