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Low cost Table top sequencer: An innovative technology for rapid Genome sequencing

Low cost Table top sequencer: An innovative technology for rapid Genome sequencing

DNA sequencing has had a profound impact on life science research and medicine. The reductions in cost and time for generating DNA sequencing are expected to lead to a new era of personalized medicine opening new approaches for treating cancers and other serious diseases. Molecular biologists believe that the cost of sequencing will further drop at an exponential rate consistent with the semiconductor industry’s Moore’s Law. Furthermore technological advancements will shortly provide faster and more portable devices. Ion Torrent (Biotech Company) introduced its new tabletop sequencer by which researchers can soon sequence a human genome for $1,000 in a day. The company has developed DNA sequencing chips based on CMOS (complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor) technology. This system uses multiplexed and miniaturized ion sensors to detect the release of a hydrogen ion that results from the addition of a DNA nucleotide to the growing DNA chain during synthesis. This innovative detection technology does not require the use of chemically modified reagents (e.g. fluorescent nucleotides) but retains the need for synchronized synthesis on clusters of DNA molecules to generate sufficient changes in pH to detect nucleotide additions more reliably The new Ion Torrent sequencer will also allow researchers to buy a chip that sequences only exons. Although it’s the same price as the genome chip, the Ion Torrent exome chip can sequence two exomes at a time, bringing the per-sequence cost further down to $500. A day after the company released in the market its newly invented Proton sequencer, Illumina also announced that it had also reached the $1,000 a genome milestone. [Summarized by Samsad –  a graduate student of DMB]

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