BER launches Environmental System Science Program. Visit our new website under construction!

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Biological and Environmental Research

BER Research Highlights

Export of More Efficient Genome Sequencing Technology
Published: August 07, 2006
Posted: September 11, 2006

The generation of DNA sequencing machines used in sequencing the human genome were fastidious, expensive, and fairly bulky. The Harvard Medical School lab of George Church pioneered a novel approach featuring much simpler instrumentation. The cleverness resides in designs for the front end DNA treatment and extensive parallelism of analysis. For commercial development , the technology has recently been purchased by the Applera Corp. An Applera subsidiary, Celera Genomics Inc., previously sequenced the human and mouse genomes in competition with public sector efforts. This commercialization promises easier export of the resources to other laboratories though the constituent steps are technically simple. The Church approach is one of several competitors for much cheaper and highly parallelized DNA sequencing technologies. These are applicable to either sequencing of single genes sampled across a large population, or to much cheaper sequencing of single genomes. For the DOE GTL Genomics Program, these approaches promise to drastically reduce DNA sequencing costs, both for new genomes and for verifying the sequence of useful recombinant constructs. One goal of these new approaches is to achieve re-sequencing of the human genome at a target cost of $1,000, at which genome sequence could become an affordable component of individualized medicine. A prize of at least $500,000 awaits the organization first achieving this goal, see [website]

Contact: Marvin Stodolsky, SC-23.2, (301) 903-4475
Topic Areas:

  • Research Area: Genomic Analysis and Systems Biology
  • Legacy: Human Genome Project (1990-2003)
  • Legacy: Medical Applications

Division: SC-33.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER
      (formerly SC-23.2 Medical Sciences Division, OBER)


BER supports basic research and scientific user facilities to advance DOE missions in energy and environment. More about BER

Recent Highlights

Mar 23, 2021
Molecular Connections from Plants to Fungi to Ants
Lipids transfer energy and serve as an inter-kingdom communication tool in leaf-cutter ants&rsqu [more...]

Mar 19, 2021
Microbes Use Ancient Metabolism to Cycle Phosphorus
Microbial cycling of phosphorus through reduction-oxidation reactions is older and more widespre [more...]

Feb 22, 2021
Warming Soil Means Stronger Microbe Networks
Soil warming leads to more complex, larger, and more connected networks of microbes in those soi [more...]

Jan 27, 2021
Labeling the Thale Cress Metabolites
New data pipeline identifies metabolites following heavy isotope labeling.

Analysis [more...]

Aug 31, 2020
Novel Bacterial Clade Reveals Origin of Form I Rubisco

  • All plant biomass is sourced from the carbon-fixing enzyme Rub [more...]

List all highlights (possible long download time)