Monday, November 16, 2009

[FAO] Latest must-have accessory for billionaires


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Latest must-have accessory for billionaires: Personal genome sequence!

London, Nov 15: Move over hotels, islands and yachts - some of the world's wealthiest people are nowadays forking over 70,000 dollars each for a computer drive containing their personal genome sequences.

Up till now, less than a hundred members of the global elite have received the latest must-have accessory, but according to The Times, the list is growing.

The USB drive contains a digital version of its owner's human genome, sequenced and decoded and ready to be browsed on a home computer, The Times reported.

Courtesy the USB drive, the information in it can provide insight into what ailments could threaten the person's life - possibly allowing the person to take steps to minimize those medical risks.

"As recently as 2007, there were only three personalised genomes on the planet," says Jorge Conde, Chief Executive Officer of Knome, an American company offering the service.

Conde added: "Even last year there were more people who had walked on the Moon than had been sequenced."

The process of decoding a genome takes up to eight weeks. Conde predicts that time eventually will be reduced to a few days - and the cost reduced to 1,000 dollars - by 2015.

"I've been in the homes of a few of my clients, and a lot of them put their USB drives in display cases," said Conde, 32.

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