Oxford Nanopore Technologies has developed a thumb drive capable of sequencing DNA. Dubbed MinION, the disposable device is expected to be commercialized later this year with a starting price of just under £600.
MinION is a disposable single-use cartridge containing everything you need to do nanopore work. Its standard program collects data until a predefined threshold is reached – by plugging the USB cartridge into your laptop, you can programmatically tell the MinION what to look for, set a quality threshold, and read your analysis results. So far, Oxford Nanopore has demonstrated their technology by sequencing rat’s blood – it remains unclear whether sequencing the complete human genome with a single cartridge is possible.
How nanopore sequencing works
The technology forces the target substrate through a nanopore under electric potential. Biological nanopores – such as the transmembrane β-barrel of an engineered α-hemolysin pore, which contains 3 recognition sites that can be used to identify all four DNA bases in an immobilized single-stranded DNA molecule – proceed to sequence the DNA.
Shares of market competitors with somewhat bulkier sequencers already plummeted by 6% when the news broke – expect this disruptive technology to make an appearance at crime scenes and hospitals near you in the coming year. And a that price… Why not hold a copy of your own sequenced genome? The DIY bio tech era has come…
What are the implications of DIY-genome sequencing and the availability of personal DNA sata?
Official website: http://www.nanoporetech.com/