10 May 2011

Separating chromosomes and progress in DNA analysis

A couple of DNA related items in the news (technology phobia alert).

A short article in Technology Review holds out the prospect of being able to analyse each member of a chromosome pair individually rather than as segments which are part of one or other of the chromosomes as at present.  This should mean greater confidence in identifying whether DNA cousins are related by descent rather than just chance matching. See the article at http://goo.gl/Mmazd

Meanwhile, as reported in GenomeWeb Daily News at http://goo.gl/rABbe the cost of DNA analysis continues to fall. The company Complete Genomes service "starts at $9,500 per genome for small order sizes to between $5,000 to $7,500 per genome for orders in the hundreds of genomes." Illumina now offers "human whole-genome sequencing services to $5,000 per genome for projects of 10 samples or more, and $4,000 for projects of 50 samples or more.

Such prices do not include the consumer level database service essential for the genealogist.

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