Foundation Offers $10M For Genetic Mapping Prize

Los Angeles-based X PRIZE Foundation, the organization behind the Ansari X Prize, announced a new prize today, a $10M prize for technology to successfully map 100 human genomes in 10 days. The foundation said that the Archon X Prize for Genetics is designed to usher in a new era of personalized preventative medicine and stimulate new avenues of research and development of medical sciences. The new competition is being sponsored by Archon Minerals, whose President, Dr. Steart Blusson, is underwriting the prize. The idea behind the prize is to spur development of new genetic mapping technology, much like the foundation's Ansari X Prize spurred the development of the first non-government, commercial space vehicle, SpaceShipOne. The X Prize Foundation said that it has already signed up three teams for the competition, including Houston, Texas-based VisiGen Biotechnologies, Connecticut-based 454 Life Sciences, and a Gainesville, Florida-based team made up of the Westheimer Institute for Science and Technology, the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution, and Firebird Biomolecular Sciences LLC.