It seems such a long time ago (in reality: 5 years) that many people hailed next-generation sequencing as the “democratization” of sequencing.  The heart of the idea was that, previously, only large genome centres could sequence genomes; but with the advent of next-generation sequencing, relatively small facilities could now sequence Gbs per day and effectively repeat the human genome project in just a few days.

Have Illumina just reversed this?  As I have written about at length, Illumina have enabled the $1000 genome – if you have $10million for the equipment and can sequence 18,000 genomes per year.  You will also need considerable informatics kit.  This is beyond the reach of many small- to medium- scale labs, many of whom invested in Illumina machines based on the idea that they would become “genome centres”.

Have we just witnessed the de-democratization of sequencing?