Amy Harmon profiles Dan Stoicescu, a Swiss-living millionaire who has become the first paying customer of the genome-sequencing company, Knome.
Mr. Stoicescu said he worried about being seen as self-indulgent (though he donates much more each year to philanthropic causes), egotistical (for obvious reasons) or stupid (the cost of the technology, he knows, is dropping so fast that he would have certainly paid much less by waiting a few months).
But he agreed to be identified to help persuade others to participate. With only four complete human genome sequences announced by scientists around the world -- along with the Human Genome Project, which finished assembling a genome drawn from several individuals at a cost of about $300 million in 2003 -- each new one stands to add considerably to the collective knowledge.
"I view it as a kind of sponsorship," he said. "In a way you can also be part of this adventure, which I believe is going to change a lot of things."
"Sponsorship" seems like a good way to look at it, as long as they don't start including companies' names in the sequence, like "Pepsi" on a high school scoreboard!