An X Prize for faster human genome sequencinghttp://articles.latimes.com/2011/oct/28/science/la-sci-venter-q-a-20111029The X Prize Foundation: Now count to a hundredhttp://www.economist.com/node/21534747California Foundation Announces $10 Million Genetic Prizehttp://www.voanews.com/english/news/usa/Calfornia-Foundation-Announces-10-Million-Genetics-Prize-132802208.htmlX PRIZE Foundationhttp://www.xprize.org/New England Centenarian Studyhttp://www.bumc.bu.edu/centenarian/The Centenarianhttp://www.thecentenarian.co.uk/Most centenarians in the U.S., upon reaching that venerable age, receive a birthday card from the President and perhaps a mention by Willard Scott. Soon, a geneticist may also contact them, but for more than just birthday wishes. The X Prize Foundation recently announced that they are looking for teams of scientists to accurately sequence the DNA of 100 centenarians within 30 days at the cost of $1000 or less per genome. The team that is successful will receive a $10 million prize. The X Prize Foundation has previously sponsored contests design to work on new technology to clean up oil spills and to land a robot on the moon, and this particular idea has been bouncing around since 2006. The contest will start in January 2013, and the winners will have to make sure that their results have no more than one mistake per million base pairs and it will have to be done quite quickly, as the contest only lasts for 30 days. The goal is to find out what makes centenarians different from other people and to also establish an industry standard for sequencing. Of course, the hope is that eventually there will be some true insights into what may distinguish centenarians from other persons as well. The first link will take visitors to a recent piece from the Los Angeles Times which includes an interview with J. Craig Venter, a genome-sequencing and the co-chairman of this X Prize competition. The second link will take interested parties to an article from last week's The Economist which talks about the upcoming competition. Moving along, the third link will take visitors to a news report from Voice of American about the X Prize Foundation competition. The fourth link leads to the homepage of the X Prize Foundation. Here visitors can learn about the gene sequencing competition, along with other initiatives they are working on. The fifth link leads to the homepage of the New England Centenarian Study, which is based at Boston University. Visitors can look around the site to learn about this unique study and also read reports and updates about their work. The final link leads a rather interesting website on British centenarians, complete with information about their lifestyles, shared habits, and how they can obtain a birthday card from the Queen of England.


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