DNA race to unlock ageing secrets

Posted: July 24, 2012 at 9:20 am

24 July 2012 Last updated at 02:28 ET By Helen Briggs BBC News

A race to unlock genetic clues behind living to 100 is set to begin next year, after a US team announced it will compete for the $10m Genomics X Prize.

Genetic entrepreneur Dr Jonathan Rothberg is entering the challenge to identify genes linked to a long, healthy life.

His team - and any other contenders - will be given 30 days to work out the full DNA code of 100 centenarians at a cost of no more than $1,000 per genome.

The race will start in September 2013.

Under the rules of the Archon Genomics X Prize, teams have until next May to register for the competition.

Dr Rothberg's team from Life Technologies Corporation in California is the first to formally enter the race.

Being able to sequence the full human genome at a cost of $1,000 or less is regarded as a milestone in science.

It is seen as the threshold at which DNA sequencing technology becomes cheap enough to be used widely in medicine, helping in diagnosis and in matching drugs to a patient's genetic make-up.

If they can do a human genome in two hours with one little machine, it's just stunning. We have come a long way.

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DNA race to unlock ageing secrets

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