Another application of the research groupsmagnetoelectronics work has arisen through a partnership between Prof Bland’s group at Cambridge University and the 4G gene sequencing team at the University of Southampton. This partnership aims to use magnetic information storage technology to create a new method of sequencing DNA. The idea is to use miniature magnetic sensors similar to those used in a hard drive read head to detect magnetically encoded beads functionalized with sequences of DNA. This could ultimately enable the sequencing of 4 billion bases a day - the entire human genome.
The site for the research group is here There list of projects is here
In 2005, the cost of sequencing a genome had dropped to about two million dollars The goal of the Personal Genome Project (PGP) is to get the cost of sequencing an entire human genome down to $10,000 by 2009 and $1,000 by 2014 There is also the genome x-prize to encourage and reward success in this area.
General background on gene sequencing is here