Company unveils DNA sequencing device meant to be portable, disposable and cheap
February 18, 2012 | Source: New York Times
DNA sequencing is becoming both faster and cheaper. Now, it is also becoming tinier.
Oxford Nanopore Technologies said on Friday that by the end of 2012 it would begin selling a “pay-as-you-go” disposable gene sequencing device that is the size of a USB memory stick and plugs into a laptop computer to deliver its results.
The less-than-$900 MinION device could allow small sequencing jobs to be done by researchers who cannot afford $50,000 to $750,000 sequencing machines.
It might also help doctors sequence genes at a patient’s bedside, wildlife biologists to study genes in the field, or food inspectors to identify pathogens.
A minaturized version of the company’s larger GridION device, the MinION uses pores made from bacterial proteins. An electric current flows through the pore. The DNA bases interrupt the current in different ways as they go through.
Also see: Press release