New start date and first contestant for Genomics X PRIZE

July 25, 2012

A poster used to recruit DNA donors (credit: X PRIZE Foundation)

Ion Torrent announced today that it will compete for the $10 million Archon Genomics X PRIZE to sequence 100 human genomes for $1000 each during a one-month period, Science Insider reports.

The prize was first set up in 2006 and was revised last October.

The current rules lower the cost per sequence allowed, increase the time for sequencing, and establish that the 100 genomes analyzed would belong to people age 100 or older.

Unlike other sequencers on the market, Ion Torrent taps semiconductor technology and uses chemistry, not light, to read the DNA being analyzed.

The minimum standard for the X PRIZE is one error in 100,000 bases, but the goal is one error in 1 million bases. The genomes must be 95% complete, but preferably 98% complete and with genes assignable to each parent’s chromosomes..