The Human Genome Project was a huge milestone of scientific discovery. The project aimed to map the uncharted world of the genome — the entirety of a human’s genes. The project was successful but it came with a hefty price tag. It took a decade and $2.7 billion to complete. Still, it has given researchers more insight into the inner workings of human DNA.
Now, with better and cheaper tools at humanity’s disposal, some startups are capitalizing on the opportunity to bring genome sequencing to the public. Among these startups is Genos.
The company says that it plans to sequence the entirety of the human genome, albeit in the future. For now, the company aims to sequence a segment of the genome known as the exome. The exome is part of the genome that express its information into proteins. It constitutes around 1 percent of the human genome.
More and more startups are cropping up to provide consumers with valuable information about their genetics. Their methods are similar wherein the consumers send in samples taken by the kit they purchased. The companies then send them a detailed report of their genes. Startups like Color Genomics have kits available to the public that focuses on the detection of cancer. Genos differentiates itself from others by encouraging people to submit their results to research labs. They plan on compensating the consumer should they opt-in for these studies.
All these means that not only are these companies provide us with cheaper tools that give us a deeper understanding of ourselves. Customers can also contribute to others by giving researchers the data they need to allow for a greater understanding of the role genetics play in disease and every other facet of humanity.