Twenty-two hundred years ago, you needed to work 50 hours to buy an hour of light from a sesame oil lantern. Today, to purchase an hour of an even cleaner and brighter light, it takes the average person about half a second.
Such is the nature of technological progress.
Yet, I think we can all agree that the proliferation of candles, lamps, incandescent bulbs, CFL’s and, most recently, LED’s have–pardon the pun– helped shed light on a number of interesting developments and made the world a better place.
In this same way, I encourage you to watch this informative TEDx talk by Richard Resnick, CEO of GenomeQuest, who does an outstanding job of explaining the implications of the exponential advancement of genomic sequencing equipment on the health care industry.
To wit, Resnick notes that the price of sequencing a base pair of genes has fallen 100 million times since 1998. This improvement, he helpfully explains, would be the equivalent of filling up your gas tank in 1998 and then waiting to 2011 to do it again. The only difference is that you would now be able to drive to Jupiter and back–twice–on a single tank of gasoline!
Resnick’s broader point is that gene sequencing technology is fueling a revolution in healthcare which will be just as–if not more–profound than the advancements wrought by the electrification (and lighting) of the world.
The next question (which is particularly relevant if you’re in the healthcare, pharmaceutical, agricultural or aging services industries) is this: Are you prepared?
For related posts on either the coming genomic revolution, why the future will be cheap or simulating TED talks, check out these old posts: