Is the future of medicine in DNA research? Will someone ever build a machine that will allow a doctor to spy into your genome to discover your genetic makeup much like an x-ray machine or CAT scan does for your body? Well, they have! The scientific venture that at first took around 3 Billion dollars and over 10 years first to do just over a decade ago has now been making immense steps in accelerating and cheapening the process to determine an individual's genome. For the task of exploring what lurks in your genes (not your denim) is now an instrument that will further revolutionize medicine. Illumina’s new NovaSeq 5000 and 6000 is a machine that will do just that. It could enable a 100 dollar gene-sequencing in the future, down from the current $1000 and provide results in about an hour. Just think you could have your DNA results quicker than you can obtain your new eyeglasses.
What this means for medicine and thereby the patient is advances not only in genetic disease discovery but a revolution in cancer treatment. The real furtherance of medical science is in the availability and time reduction of necessary data. As companies develop which will begin studying the distinctive details of the genome, scientists are only hindered by cost and time. To be able to examine thousands of genomes in order to provide precise answers require both time and money. The less of these two elements that are necessary for the analytical process, the sooner the experts can ascertain more accurate conclusions. While this is certainly a potential boom to the study of medicine, there is much still to be understood. The exome section of the DNA potentially consists of around 80% of the mutations that directly affect diseases and this is the focus of most current sequencing. Consequently, the more they can study the full DNA and not just the exome will unquestionably lead to a better comprehension of disease and their potential cures and treatments. The cost of these machines are just under one million dollars so don’t expect to see this in your local doctor’s office. However, maybe sometime in the future, like something out of Demolition Man or Blade Runner, we will be able to stop into the mall for a quick DNA check up.