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Life Technologies Corp schedules $1,000 genome before the end of 2012

Life Technologies Corporation, a Carlsbad, California based company, has announced the launch of their bench top “Ion Proton Sequencer”, a pH-based sequencing device designed to sequence an entire human genome in a single day for $1,000. The device, retailing at $149,000, is aimed at expanding the market for genomic sequencing in both research and clinical settings. The underlying technology dispenses with optical dyes and camera or laser based detection systems and uses a recently developed DNA synthesis technology on a massively parallel semiconductor-sensing device or “ion chip” containing ion sensitive, field-effect transistor based sensors. The technology detects the release of single hydrogen ions upon incorporation of a single nucleotide into a growing strand while the use of a disposable integrated circuit fabricated, using standard complementary metal-oxide semiconductor processes, dispenses with expensive detection systems and piggy-backs onto a well established semi-conductor infrastructure with the potential to “bring sequencing to the masses”.