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Davos wowed by device that reads 'code of life' in hours

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© 2012 AFP

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Now if we can use these on a larger scale to cure terminal diseases... Life changing science. Well at least it will be portable in any case.

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I see a Nobel Prize in Mr. Rothberg's future.

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If it works as described and is accurate, I agree with JohnBecker. This is the stuff of Nobel Prizes for Medicine.

After so many seasons of "CSI" I had thought this kind of thing already existed. I was brought back to reality one day when I had reason to stop by the local county's police property building. At the window was a notice for police officers and prosecutors listing the approximate number of days it would take to get DNA results back. The average wait was 120 days.

If this works, THIS ROCKS.

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This is the stuff of Nobel Prizes for Medicine.

and, up to now, SF TV shows and movies. This is an amazing development.

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It's all great Star Trek technology but don't forget there are potential problems, too:

it costs "less than 1000 dollars" for a single genome sequencing, so until it gets much much cheaper you won't see it in your nearest doctor's office. It's in the price range of a MRI scan, another miraculous technology that is not commonly available among the poorest. you might be required to present your genome code to your insurance company, employer, potential partner etc. Do you want to be refused life insurance based on a few black flags your DNA is bound to raise?
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From the manufacturer's website: http://www.lifetechnologies.com/us/en/home/about-us/news-gallery/press-releases/2012/life-techologies-itroduces-the-bechtop-io-proto.html

The Ion Proton™ Sequencer, priced at $149,000, is based on the next generation of semiconductor sequencing technology that has made its predecessor, the Ion Personal Genome Machine™ (PGM™), the fastest-selling sequencer in the world.

Up to now, it has taken weeks or months to sequence a human genome at a cost of $5,000 to $10,000 using optical-based sequencing technologies. The slow pace and the high instrument cost of $500,000 to $750,000 have limited human genome sequencing to relatively few research labs.

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you might be required to present your genome code to your insurance company, employer, potential partner etc. Do you want to be refused life insurance based on a few black flags your DNA is bound to raise?

That's not a problem in the U.S. A law was passed in 2008 prohibiting exactly what you're talking about:

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, also referred to as GINA, is a federal law that protects Americans from being treated unfairly because of differences in their DNA that may affect their health. The new law prevents discrimination from health insurers and employers.

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