Genomics is a subject of technology that changes at an alarmingly rapid rate. It’s difficult to find examples of other fields that have undergone change at similar rates, but comparisons could range from the evolution of computer technology in the last several decades or the rapid growth of Internet startups in the 90s. Unlike these examples, the growth of genome sequencing technology is limited to a specific technological sector, or at the least, it has been until now.
Sequencing technology is now passing a critical point, where the price of whole genome sequencing is in fact less than the price of owning a conventional panel גנטיקה of genetic tests. Although it is difficult to calculate a precise figure for this, it probably is based on the range of $1K-$10K. Illumina’s HiSeq platform or IonTorrent’s Proton both promise genomic sequencing in this range, in addition to Complete Genomics. As we pass this time, genome sequencing moves from the realm of research technology to viable clinical diagnostic test.
The consequences of this change could be observed in the growing widespread curiosity about sequencing technology. While technologies of this type have revolutionized many aspects of research in the last decade, their use in clinical settings has profound implications for this industry. Research applications can just only provide a limited source of profits. Moving into clinical applications provides usage of a much bigger level of capital, both because of the larger market and higher profit margins.
The clinical introduction of genome sequencing technology will change many aspects of healthcare next few years. Genome sequencing could eventually take the area of a standard part of a patient’s healthcare record, in very similar way as blood type and allergies to medication are utilized today. However, we have plenty of ground to cover before we get to the point. For entrepreneurs in this field, this equates to a variety of exciting opportunities.
While interpretation of genomic has been an important area of research, the growing usage of this data in clinical fields will generate a great demand for the unambiguous interpretation of results. Physicians want an unambiguous questions such as for example disease predisposition, and they’d like a respected party to assume the responsibility for making this judgement. Recently, an increasing quantity of companies have entered the region of genomic data interpretation, many small startups such as for example Genformatic, a Bioinformatics company located in Austin. Larger companies have begun to focus on providing these services. As this industry evolves, it is probable that more companies may enter this realm, and it will soon be interesting to observe how things develop in this area.
While a person with experience in Molecular Biology possesses the necessary skills to prepare and run libraries, plenty of things can fail in this process. Even yet in pure research applications, sample preparation can be an increasingly common service supplied by many different centers, in addition to boutique services, such as for example Genome Organizer’s ChIP-Seq service. It’s not that researchers can’t perform these tasks, however when they are available for a fee, they see little benefit to running these services for themselves. As genomic sequencing moves to the clinical realm, demand for such services can be anticipated to increase. You can find few hospitals with the present capability to do basic sample preparation, and this represents a fresh area of opportunity in this field.
One of the greatest aspects of uncertainty of this type today is how samples will get from physicians’ offices to sequencing centers, and who’ll inform patients of these results. Though medical school curricula may one day range from the interpretation of genomic data, we’re not even close to that point today. Currently, even the administration and interpretation of Genetic tests is generally left to individuals in the field of Genetic Counseling, in collaboration with statisticians and specialists. Though it is probable that a variety of other professionals will take over the responsibility of this field later on, it is probable that in the long run, the growth will take place in this field.