This document is a comment on the X PRIZE validation protocol written by Kedes et al. (2011). We propose several modifications which we think will improve the fairness and transparency of the contest while keeping the cost of the validation process under control.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Archon Genomics X PRIZE presented by MEDCO is a $10 million prize for whole human genome sequencing that will test 100 samples and establish a defined method for determining quality and cost per genome. The contest will entail a head-to-head competition starting on 3 January 2013. The $10 million grand prize will be awarded to the first team to meet all the quality standards. If there is no grand prize winner, lesser awards will be made for single achievements in the three categories of accuracy, completeness and haplotype phasing. Similar to the open comment period offered earlier this year for the validation protocol, the X PRIZE Foundation seeks commentary from the scientific community on the revised competition format and judging criteria prior to publishing final rules as part of a master agreement with competing teams next year. The official validation protocol will make the competition judging transparent and fair using multiple standard techniques and robust bioinformatics. With sponsorship from Medco Health Solutions (MEDCO), the 100 samples will be derived from genomes of appropriately consented centenarian subjects. At the conclusion of the contest, the data from the redundantly sequenced genomes will be deposited into a scientific database and provide a heretofore unrealized depth of sequence data based on multiple technologies. The sample set and the bioinformatic pipeline will also be made available to the scientific community.
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