UN SDG #3 Good Health and Well-being UN SDG #3
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Researchers Track the Causes of Diseases Without Expensive Investment

There is a dire need in this country to improve human health by providing researchers and clinicians with the core technologies to understand, prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases and conditions using genomic information.

challenge

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Researchers Track the Causes of Diseases Without Expensive Investment

There is a dire need in this country to improve human health by providing researchers and clinicians with the core technologies to understand, prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases and conditions using genomic information.
100M
people impacted
$1.6T
potential funding
the problem
Nature and Context

There is a dire need in this country to improve human health by providing researchers and clinicians with the core technologies to understand, prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases and conditions using genomic information. It is important to develop and commercialize advanced life science tools for future healthcare use.

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ideas
Ideas Description

Twenty years ago the idea of sequencing the whole human genome seemed like such a difficult task that achieving it required unprecedented levels of global cooperation among scientists and funders. Now it is possible to call up Federal Express to courier a laboratory sample to a gene sequencing and analysis centre and get the results back within a few days at a fraction of the cost of an in-house solution. This rapid service is the creation of a US start-up, now owned in China, called Complete Genomics. The organization aims to allow many more researchers to start using large-scale genomic analysis, to track down the causes of diseases, without having to invest in their own sequencing instruments, high-performance computing resources or specialized personnel. The effort to map the human genome was just the start of a long process to unravel how complex combinations of genes can trigger disease. In many diseases, multiple genes each make a subtle contribution to a person’s susceptibility to illness and their response to drug treatment. Researchers targeting particular diseases and their treatments will potentially be able to use the Complete Genomics sequencing and analysis service to pinpoint particular genes to focus on. The aim of Complete Genomics is to bring the data in the human genome to life by allowing many more researchers to probe and analyze it. As researchers ask more questions, by pursuing the causes of different diseases, they also contribute to building up large, comparable data sets, making it possible to identify and compare the particular patterns in a set of genes. Any medical researcher can receive genomic data at a fraction of the cost of an in-house service - assembled and annotated, ready for biological interpretation, thus speeding up efforts to tackle critical diseases.

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