Some of the world's wealthiest people are forking over $70,000 each for a computer drive containing their personal genome sequences, the Times of London reports.
Only a few hundred individuals have been able to obtain one, and the waiting list continues to grow.
It is hoped that the information on the USB drive will provide insight into what ailments could threaten the person's life — possibly allowing the person to take steps to minimize those medical risks.
“As recently as 2007, there were only three personalized genomes on the planet,” Jorge Conde told the Times. Conde is chief executive officer of Knome, an American company offering the service.
“Even last year there were more people who had walked on the moon than had been sequenced,” he said.
The process of decoding a genome takes up to eight weeks. Conde predicts that time eventually will be reduced to a few days — and the cost reduced to $1,000 — by 2015.