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Next-gen sequencing pioneer Illumina says it may soon usher in the era of the $100 genome — which could, in theory, make consumer genomics orders of magnitude more accessible.

CEO Francis deSouza on Monday unveiled a new machine, called the NovaSeq, at this year’s J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. He said the machine’s scanning speed has increased to a pace that could unravel the DNA of an entire human genome in an hour.


Some caveats right off the bat: Even if it is that fast, it’ll still take much longer to actually interpret the data. And while deSouza promised the new machine is “expected one day” to allow for a genome to be sequenced for $100, the company isn’t quite there yet.

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