The primary sequence of DNA can be decoded a million times faster and cheaper than it could 20 years ago. This capability is transforming our understanding of biology and has stimulated efforts to influence modern medicine through routine sequencing of human genomes. I describe how Solexa-Illumina sequencing originated from our laboratory and was developed into widely used commercial sequencing platforms. I also discuss examples of how this approach is being employed to exploit genome sequencing for medicine.

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