What do Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen, Astronaut Anousheh Ansari, Financier Michael Milken, Google Co-founder, Larry Page, CNN’s Larry King and Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking have in common?

They are all about to get their genomes sequenced!

The celebrity “Genome 100” have volunteered to be a part of the new Xprize race —the Archon X-prize for Genomics.

The new X-Prize contest, reportedly offering the largest medical prize in history, will give  $10 million dollars  to the first privately funded team who can decode the genes of 100 people in 10 days.  As an encore, the winning team will get an additional 1 million dollars and another 6 months to decode the genetic sequences of the “Genome 100,” consisting of celebrities and patients nominated by groups involved with fighting diseases.

See:

http://www.technologyreview.com/read_article.aspx?id=17582&ch=biotech.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/10/05/news/genome.php

http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7005075384

And:

http://genomics.xprize.org/

From the Xprize site:

“On October 4, 2006, the X PRIZE Foundation announced the launch of its second prize — the Archon X PRIZE for Genomics. The $10 million cash prize has been created to revolutionize the medical world. The launch was attended by visionaries and entrepreneurs from around the globe who recognize the significance and impact that the Archon X PRIZE for Genomics will have on the fields of medicine and research.

Scientists know that a map of our genome holds boundless potential, ranging from identifying our susceptibility to disease to discovering cures for cancer. But since 1953, when James Watson and Francis Crick concluded that DNA contained the “stuff of life,” only a handful of human genomes have been mapped. In fact, it still takes many months and millions of dollars to sequence a single genome.

Understanding our genomes may help delay or even prevent disease. For those suffering from genetic illnesses, personal genetic information can determine which medicines will drive their disease into remission without negative side-effects.

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. ”

Pretty cool, huh?:-)

I’m thinking that X-prize founder, Peter Diamandis has found that obelisk too….

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