Hugh Pickens writes: "The first draft of the human genome was published nearly a decade ago involving the work of hundreds of scientists in six countries, taking a decade to produce, and costing more than $2 billion. Since then only about 20 people have had their entire genetic code mapped because of the high cost and complexity of the task. The knowledge to be gained from one genome, in isolation, is limited but if you were able to compare huge numbers of genomes then patterns should emerge. Now Complete Genomics has published its first genome in a proof of concept trial and says it will sequence 1,000 complete genomes between June 2009 and the end of the year and one million over five years. "As soon as we can sequence thousands of genomes then we can understand for the first time, the genetic basis of disease that will enable us to develop new diagnostics for the detection of disease and new therapeutics for the treatment of disease," says Dr Clifford Reid, CEO of Complete Genomics. Such is the excitement and promise of mass gene mapping that it has prompted the creation of medicine's richest prize: $10 million is on offer with the Archon X PRIZE to the first company that can sequence 100 genomes in ten days, for $10,000 or less each. "The future that we all envisage is the day when every infant has their genome sequenced at birth and we utilize that information to optimize health throughout their life and enable customized personalized medicine," says Andrew Wooton, from the X Prize foundation, adding that the goal is to bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefits of humanity."