a16z Podcast

a16z Podcast: Revisiting the Gene

Carlos Araya, Gabriel Otte, and Jorge Conde

Posted January 11, 2018

The complete sequencing of the human genome is one of the most powerful examples of technology and science in action: We’ve gone from needing $3 billion and over 13 years to read a single human genome to today, to where we can do that same amount of work for about $1,000 in roughly 2 days — and the price will only continue to drop. But beyond pricing, what does understanding the gene — and moving from the sequencing layer to the applications layer — mean to us; what new questions arise now that we can sequence DNA quickly, reliably, and cheaply?

This conversation — with co-founder and CEO of Jungla Carlos Araya and co-founder and CEO of Freenome Gabe Otte, moderated by a16z General Partner Jorge Conde (based on a discussion that took place at a16z’s annual Summit in November 2017) — takes a step back and considers all these questions. Every time a human genome sequence is completed, there are on the order of 3,000,000 new variants identified. So how do we think about interpreting all that data? Actionability? And how do we derive meaning from all this, for applications in the clinical space?