As the cost of DNA sequencing plummets, we’re fast approaching a point when decoding a human genome could cost $100 — about as much as the average American’s weekly grocery store run.
The ever-lower cost is helping to drive fast-moving changes in sequencing. Health systems are preparing to test programs that could lead to the use of whole-genome screening in millions of newborns. By next year, some startup entrepreneurs plan to begin offering genetic reports that you can pull up on your smartphone — and they think it’s inevitable that we’ll all one day have this information at our fingertips. And the firms that produce sequencers see an expanding market for their efforts to read DNA quickly, accurately, and affordably.