The race will be on—a year from September—to unlock the full DNA code of 100 centenarians, in 30 days, for no more than $1,000 per genome. The prize: $10 million and, perhaps, the fountain of youth. Scientists believe those who live to an old age may have rare changes in their genes which protect them from diseases. Identifying the genes could lead to ways to prolong life. The catch is that a very large pool of people will need to be tested to steer scientists in the right direction. Hence, the competition to spur companies to develop technology that can rapidly—and cheaply—sequence the human genome. The first mapping of the human genome was completed in 2003 after 13 years and cost billions. Today, mapping the human genome is estimated to cost around $3,000 and take a week.

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