Big news recently, the $1m mark has been breached for the human genome. See here, the funny thing is no one really cares: yet. The $1,000 genome is going to be the biggest political and business spot in the next 5-7 years. Smart people should position themselves now.
The original human genome project that took +10 years and $3 billion now takes 2 years and $1m. I am still placing my bet on personal sequencing being ready for $1,000 in 3-5 years.
Before that crude personal haplotypes will be available. illumina has one of the leading technologies and of course 454 biosciences is a contender. The data and impacts are not fully appreciated by anyone in the major media yet.
As my finance professor in Paris said these facts have to pass the inter ocular test before people realize what they mean, i.e. they have to hit them between the eyes. :)
Here is a scenario in the not to distant future. Has anyone in your family had cancer? Would you be willing to pay $1,000 to see if you might get it to? This could be a big market. The diagnostics, data storage and services related to the personal genome will be huge.
I think the next microsoft-google will be a sequencing and storage service in the private sector. After all who do you trust most, the govt., your insurance company, or the private sector with the keys to your medical past and future? There will be some unsexy smaller (sub) $50m revenue firms components to this value chain that get rolled up.
These will be in the sampling side (think swabs and entothlial cells), data handling, mass CRM components, bio data intergrity and storage arena's. Even verified sample storage and destruction on significant scales will be viable businesses. Oh and of course lawyers given the ethical and legal issues there will be lots and lots of lawyers with a sprinkling of politicians and pundits. Can't have the technology show without the side show tagging along :)