We at the Methuselah Foundation are pleased to note the launch of the X Prize Foundation’s latest initiative: a $10 million genomics research prize aimed at speeding the advance of DNA sequencing. Like the cost of processing power for the computing industry, the cost of DNA sequencing is a marker for broad progress in the biotechnology revolution: the cheaper it becomes, the more can be done to advance medicine, health and longevity.
The Archon X PRIZE for Genomics challenges scientists and engineers to create better, cheaper and faster ways to sequence genomes. The knowledge gained by compiling and comparing a library of human genomes will create a new era of preventive and personalized medicine – and transform medical care from reactive to proactive.
The X PRIZE Foundation and scientists the world over dream of the day when we fully understand the human genetic blueprint – enabling us to make informed decisions about our own health and create a brighter future for generations to come.
All medicine – including work on SENS, the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence – will benefit from better, cheaper and more reliable infrastructure technologies.
Aubrey de Grey, Chairman and Chief Science Officer of the Methuselah Foundation, commenting on the X Prize for Genomics, said
I applaud Peter Diamandis and his colleagues at the X PRIZE Foundation for taking this bold initiative. Our work so far at the Methuselah Foundation has confirmed that personalised therapies will be paramount in the effort to defeat the processes of human aging. Low cost, mass market genomic analysis, the goal of the Archon X PRIZE for Genomics competition, will leverage our own efforts in a hugely significant way.
More specifically, a direct example is that it will accelerate the characterisation of ALT, the telomerase-independent telomere elongation mechanism used by 10% of cancers. It is exciting to see the synergy developing between these two prizes in leading-edge biological science, the X PRIZE genomics prize and our own Mprize.
You can read more about the proposed SENS approach to cancer at the SENS website:
Research prizes work to advance technology and our understanding of science. The more research prizes in medicine, the better!