The Proton Semiconductor Sequencer from Ion Torrent Systems Inc. is a new DNA sequencing machine designed to sequence the entire human genome in about eight hours for $1,000. Ethan Miller/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Sara Terry and her son, Christian, in Spring, Texas. After sequencing Christian's genome, doctors were able to diagnose him with a Noonan-like syndrome. Eric Kayne for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Eric Kayne for NPR

Watson, now 84, says sequencing helped explain his past sensitivity to certain drugs. But he didn't want to know everything his sequenced genome revealed about his health future. Courtesy of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Slides containing DNA sit in a bay waiting to be analyzed by a genome sequencing machine. David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images