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X-PRIZE the biological version

Avi Blizovsky

The X-PRIZE Foundation that succeeded in driving the private space sector announced a new prize worth 10 million dollars on Wednesday - this time to advance the race to decipher the role of genes in the human body, after mapping them in a fast and cheap way.
Although the scientists have already mapped the genome of one person thanks to combined efforts - public and private, it was expensive and took a long time. The X-PRIZE Foundation seeks to encourage scientists to map 100 separate human genes within ten days.
To spice things up, they offer an additional million dollars if the group can map the genomes of a hundred or more people, including wealthy donors to the prize committee as well as celebrities such as the co-founder of Microsoft Paul Allen and one of the co-founders of Google - Larry Page.
The competition may accelerate the development of the field of personal genomics - according to which it will be possible to know a person's susceptibility to diseases, his response to drugs and other tendencies, thanks to the individual mapping, said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Research Institute. His institute is already working on ways to do this.
As you may remember, the X-PRIZE Foundation offered a prize of 10 million dollars to promote a space race and in 2004 it was won by the aviation pioneer Bret Rotan who developed the spacecraft-plane Space-Ship-1 and which took off into space twice in one week.
The human genome scientist

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