Solexa's first-generation instrument, the 1G Genome Analyzer is expected to generate over a billion bases of DNA sequence per run enabling whole genome resequencing below $100,000 (€838,000) per sample, making it the first platform to reach this important milestone.Solexa also announced its intention to use the Solexa Genome Analysis System to sequence the entire genome of a human during 2006. The individual DNA will consist of anonymous samples used in the International Haplotype Mapping Project (HapMap).
This sequencing project allows the opportunity to compare results generated by the Solexa Genome Analysis System with other publicly available data.
With its data density and low operating cost, the Solexa Genome Analysis System is intended to enable researchers to generate up to 5 million transcript tags per sample at costs comparable to those of hybridisation arrays.
In October, Solexa announced that Company scientists had sequenced a human Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) on an early laboratory prototype instrument.
Using the 1G Genome Analyzer, part of the Solexa Genome Analysis System, Solexa scientists have achieved the same level of coverage, consensus accuracy and polymorphism detection as in the earlier work.
"Solexa Genome Analysis System have the potential to improve productivity significantly at the largest sequencing and expression centres as well as at core facilities and even individual laboratories," said John West, Solexa's chief executive officer.
"This product introduction takes us a significant step closer to becoming the first company to deliver whole human genome sequencing at $100,000 per genome."
The "HapMap" study, which appears in the journal Nature, involved mapping the genome of 269 people, taking note of key areas of DNA.
The sample group was drawn from four different ethnic groups - the Yoruba tribe from Nigeria, residents of Tokyo, the Han Chinese from Beijing and European Americans from Utah.
By comparing every single possible mutation - single nucleotide polymorphisms - in each of the volunteer's DNA, the scientists produced the first comprehensive study of human genetic variation.
In March 2005, studies published in the journal Science used HapMap data to uncover a genetic variation that substantially increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of severe vision loss in the elderly.
Other teams are using the data to look at conditions including diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, schizophrenia, asthma, high blood pressure and heart disease.