Posts Tagged ‘cost of science’

Mind Blowing Stats! Plummeting cost of DNA Sequencing

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 02-21-2011

The latest information coming out of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) indicates that the cost of sequencing one megabase of DNA has dropped by more than 16,500-fold over the last decade while the cost of sequencing a genome has dropped by 3,274-fold over the same period. That’s mind-blowing stuff!!!

According to the the NHGRI, it cost $5,292.39 to sequence 1 MB in September 2001 while is only cost $0.32 to sequence 1 MB as of October 2010.

image courtesy of the NHGRI-click for larger image

The data also shows that the cost of sequencing a genome dropped from $95,263,072 to $29,092 in the same time period.

image courtesy of NHGRI-click to enlarge

What is most amazing about the above graphs is that they illustrate how next-generation sequencing technology has completely outpaced Moore’s law which dictates that technological advances double every two years. In these graphs you can clearly see how sequencing technology followed Moore’s law until January 2008 at which point is suddenly divereged from the expected trend and advanced at break-neck speeds.

The NHGI intends to update this graph on a regular basis which can be found at


Wetterstrand KA. DNA Sequencing Costs: Data from the NHGRI Large-Scale Genome Sequencing Program Available at: Accessed February 21, 2011