Knome Offering Gene-Sequencing To Highest eBay Bidder

Posted Apr 23, 2009

I’ve heard of Madoff’s employees selling paraphanalia, personal license seats at the New York Jets stadium, and even the title of the Lord of the Manor of Warleigh on eBay.  But this is the first time I’ve heard of a personal gene-sequencing auction taking place on the website.

Knome Inc. is the first company that offers personal genomics and they are based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The auction will begin tomorrow and will last 10 days.  The opening bid will be at about $68,000.  The standard price that Knome charges for the gene-sequencing service is $99,000.  Last year the company was charging as high as $350,000.

Even though this is a hefty price, scientists believe that it will take a few years before it will cost only $1,000 to determine all 6 billion units in a DNA sequence within the 46 chromosomes.  This genetic information would be able to predict risk of disease and the most ideal medication.

Although it is not known how many customers Knome has, the company had an increase in business around December.  Kompolt Cause Media is the company that is running the auction for Knome.  In the past, Kompolt ran the auction for selling a lunch date with Warren Buffett.  The winning bidder will also get a private dinner with Knome co-founder and Harvard University scientist George Church.

[via NYT]