New Semiconductor Technology Accelerates Whole Genome Sequencing at Reduced Cost

Clinical and anatomic pathology laboratories may soon find next-generation DNA sequencing reliable and affordable

Swift advances in whole human genome sequencing may bring clinical applications to pathology on a much faster timeline than expected.

One impressive example of the fast pace of technology improvements is the Ion Torrent, which is a semiconductor-based DNA sequencer now capable of sequencing 100 million base pairs. That is ten times the sequencer’s capacity when it was launched just last December!

It was August of last year when Life Technologies (NASDAQ: LIFE) in Carlsbad, California, paid $375 million to acquire Ion Torrent Systems, a start-up with operations in Guilford, Connecticut, and South San Francisco. If Ion Torrent achieves certain technical milestones through 2012, it will earn another $350 million.