Nanopore Sequencing Could Slash DNA Analysis Costs

Over the past 5 years, researchers have been exploring the use of nanoscale pores as nucleic acid sequencing tools. In theory, such pores should generate a unique response characteristic of each of the four nucleotide bases as a piece of DNA moves through the pore.

Now, investigators at Oxford Nanopore Technologies in the United Kingdom have successfully tested a system that can identify a piece of DNA’s bases directly as it moves through a modified protein nanopore. With further development, this system could greatly reduce the expensive equipment, chemicals, and lab time needed for current scanning methods, said Gordon Sanghera, Ph.D., Oxford’s chief executive.

“You move from days to hours to get the same information, and the equipment required is a lot simpler,” Dr. Sanghera said.

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