The $10 million Human Genome Contest

Ok, so I’m up and in a writing mood tonight. Anyway, I was on MSN.com (you know, the universal default microsoft homepage) today and I came across this interesting story. I’m taking Anatomy and Physiology 2 nights a week and for the last couple of weeks we’ve been studying DNA, and RNA. Thats why this story caught my interest. Anyway, The X Prize Foundation which is the group that had a 10 million dollar contest for the first person to make it into space a while back has another contest. They issued a 10 million dollar challenge to the first person who can map the human genome. They want someone to map 100 different human genomes in 10 days. This should be a tough challenge because I think there are like 30,000 genes in the human genome. But, to spice it up they are adding another million to that if they can decode the genomes of 100 more people, including some celebrities and wealthy donors such as physicist Stephen Hawking, talk-show host Larry King, Google co-founder Larry Page and Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. If this is done I think it will be the first step in curing or preventing alot of diseases that are caused by gene mutations.

“Rapid genome sequencing is widely regarded as the next great frontier for science and will eventually allow doctors to determine an individual’s susceptibility to disease and even genetic links to cancer,” the foundation said. This prize will be called the Archon Genomics X Prize.

The article said that the money will be paid out if someone reaches this goal within the next 7 years. The money for this prize is coming from Stewart Blusson, president of Archon Minerals Ltd. Apparently this dude is “hell-bent on exploration.Of course, the twist is that to accomplish this it will cost $20 million..That seems kinda crazy, to spend $20 million to win a $10 million prize. I’m definitely gonna keep an eye on this because it would be cool if diseases like Lou Gherig’s disease, and Parkinsons went away in the next 10 to 20 years. You can read more about this here at msn.com where I read about this.

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