The Language of Genomics
DALIAN, CHINA – Last week, a company called Complete Genomics announced 10 new customers for its genome-sequencing service. The price was not specified, but the company said its goal is to offer the service for $5,000 within a year.
What struck me was not the announcement itself, but the name of the CEO: Cliff Reid, the CEO when I knew him in the 1980’s of a text-search company called Verity. The connection hit me almost immediately. Genes are, in a sense, the instruction language for building humans (or any other living thing). And language is symbols that interact to build meaning. And, yes, of course, it was the same Cliff Reid I knew back in the late 1980’s.
What Complete Genomics is doing with the $91 million it has raised so far is exciting. It has built a genome-sequencing factory and plans to build several more over the next few years. Many academic and commercial research facilities want one, as do several countries.