Evolving technologies have precipitated a substantial drop in price for genome sequencing, SNP typing and numerous medical procedures.
The cost of sequencing the first human genome was about $2.7 billion. The cost had dropped to $14 million by 2006. By mid 2015, the cost was $4000 and then amazingly by late 2015 the cost had dropped to $1500. The graphic to the left from the National Institute of Health summarizes that dramatic drop in price.
The drop in price for whole genome sequencing has been paralleled with a drop in the cost of SNP typing the procedure used for autosomal testing for
genetic genealogy (and other purposes). All major testing companies now offer autosomal testing for ancestral information for less than $100. Consequently, databases are growing and the likelihood of finding genetic matches is booming.
The purpose of this section is to describe some of the procedures used by the companies that provide direct to the consumer genetic information. I have also tried to include information supplementary to that for students who use the site as a study resource. In most cases, I have covered procedures as they relate to genetic genealogy but have provided some excellent You Tube videos to extend the scope to cover typical high school and college curricula. For example, I have described in detail the use of Next Generation technology for SNP typing as it is used for ancestry studies. However, there are other very important applications such as the study of gene expression in developing or diseased cells. I have provided video that covers that area. I also included a video about the use of DNA testing for forensics in the STR testing section for the same reasons. Advanced material is also available on other pages. Generally, the tabs further to the right at the top of the page have more advanced material. (Or in some case, more amusing material. You will have to check them out to find out which ones are which.) Hopefully everyone will find everything interesting and students will find it useful in their studies.
This video is a 20 minute interview with Brian Naughton a founding scientist at 23ndMe. In it Dr. Naughton reviews and explains the journey of a DNA sample through the SNP typing procedure at 23andme. The procedures will be similar for autosomal testing at the other two major companies offering DNA tests directly to the consumer—namely Family Tree DNA and AncestryDNA.
Udacity interview with Brian Naughton, 23 Feb 2015) 23andMeSample Processing - Tales from the Genome [Video file] retrieved from https://youtu.be/jg7V8mlQX2M