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in the last 3 or 4 years that the sequencing technology has exploded in terms of data volume, as well as modern computer hardware that can analyze that data in any reasonable time frame. That's whats enabled whole genome sequencing of disease patients to become something practical

As a computer scientist working at one of the major genome centers mentioned in the NYT I can attest to ben1040's claim.

In the last five years alone because of technological advances in sequencing technology we have moved from talking about genomic data in megabases (Mb) to gigabases (Gb). Illumina newest HighSeq sequencing technology is capable of 300 Gb per run, 10x more than there competitor ABi's SOLiD instruments which were released as little as 2 years ago!

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