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It’s the holidays! Looking for a gift that really shows you care? How about getting your loved one’s genome sequenced?

It took 15 years and $3 billion to sequence the first human genome. But in the decade since then, that cost has come down dramatically. For a few years DNA sequencing was progressing faster than Moore’s law. Today you can get some genetic information for as little as $199.


But the promise of genome sequencing has yet to be fulfilled. While companies like 23andme offer an affordable look at your genetic traits, a full genome scan will still run you a couple thousand dollars. And the FDA is still struggling with figuring out how to regulate these consumer genetic tests. But while the public appetite for these services may be small, companies like Illumina and Arivale are placing a bet on the wider applications of genome sequencing.

Is genome sequencing right for you? No matter what you spend on your personal genome, whether it’s $199 or $25,000, you’re still going to get back results you may not exactly be able to use in everyday life. But if your New Year’s resolution is to “know thyself” better, then this episode of Signal is for you.

Subscribe to Signal on iTunes or Stitcher.

The Signal podcast is produced by Katie Hiler.



Rollin at 5 – 210 – full, by Kevin MacLeod