And the Race Is on: Unlocking the Secrets of Aging

And the Race Is on: Unlocking the Secrets of Aging

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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 $10 million Genomics X Prize. Genetic entrepreneur 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, who have donated their DNA for the project, at a cost of no more than $1,000 per genome. The race will start in September 2013.

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.

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