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Quote of the day

People say we're running out of energy. That's only true if we stick with these old 19th century technologies. We are awash in energy from sunlight.

 

Ray Kurzweil

 

DNA Sequencing To Go

RATE THIS! +1
Posted in Science on 19th Feb, 2012 10:18 PM by APM

Oxford Nanopore says it will begin selling by the end of the year a disposable DNA sequencer about the size of a USB memory stick that can be plugged directly into a laptop or desktop computer and used to perform a single-molecule sensing experiment. The device is expected to sell for $900, according to the company.

 

The company also unveiled a larger benchtop version of the technology. It says a configuration of 20 of the benchtop instruments could completely sequence a human genome in 15 minutes.

 

The technology is based on a radically different sequencing method that has been in the work for more than a decade at Oxford University, Harvard and the University of California, Santa Clara. DNA strands are pulled through nanopores embedded in a polymer. As the DNA passes through the nanopore, specific sequences are identified based on varying electronic signals from the different bases. As a result, the technology can read DNA sequences directly and continuously. The company says double-stranded DNA can be sensed directly from blood.

 

The announcement comes at a time when the cost and time of DNA sequencing is dropping dramatically. Earlier this year, Life Technologies showed off a benchtop sequencer that it says can decode a human genome in one day for less than $1,000. By making sequencing far cheaper and faster, the new generation of instruments could finally make personalized medicine a reality.
 



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