Well, the New York Times has an article today on Knome, a company that is charging people $350,000 to have their genome sequenced. They have two people signed up so far. Amy Harmon, the author of the Times article, interviewed me by email for her article, mostly because I had blogged extensively about the recent AGBT meeting where many of these sequencing companies had presented their latest goodies. But alas, being a genomics blogger apparently does not carry as much weight as being (1) Jim Watson (2) someone who pays 350,000 to have their genome sequenced (3) running a genome center (Richard Gibbs) or (4) starting Knome (George Church). And so my quotes got left on the proverbial cutting room floor. Go figure.
Too bad for the Times, as I think I my quotes were pretty good. Although in all honesty, they would not have gone too well with the final article, which has some nice cohesion to it.
I should note that, other than the lack of my quotes, one thing that got left out of the Times article is any discussion of the quality of the genome sequence that will be provided by Knome. One would hope that 350K would buy a high quality genome sequence but it is unclear how good it will be. I note they claim they will provide analysis of the genome too, but as with other companies that cater to the rich and famous, details are limited on their web site.
This reminds me of a funny scene I witnessed involving Craig Venter and a wealthy friend of his. This was the day before Craig's personal genome was set to come out in PLoS Biology and the friend was asking Craig what it cost to sequence his genome. Craig said something to the effect of "man millions of dollars" and then Craig said, "but now it would cost only about 300K." The friend was intrigued. And Craig asked if he was interested and the friend, without seeming in any way to be joking, said, "sure sign me up." I guess, when money is abundant, why not get your genome sequenced? Maybe I should have told Harmon this story --- then I might have gotten in the Times.