How It Works: The Fastest DNA Sequencer | Popular Science

Your computer, USB port and your DNA reading

“DNA sequencing has revolutionized medicine and biomedical research. For example, DNA analysis can tell doctors which drug might work best against a particular cancer. But current technology usually sequences only short stretches of DNA and can take hours or days.

To sequence anything longer than a few hundred base pairs, scientists mince up thousands of copies of the target DNA, sequence all the fragments, and use software to painstakingly reconstruct the order of the DNA bases by matching overlap within fragments. A new approach, called nanopore sequencing, can handle long strands of DNA at once, eliminating the need for overlap analysis. As a result, nanopore sequencers could be cheaper, faster, and more compact than other DNA sequencers. They can also accurately sequence stretches with many repeating base pairs. The MinION from Oxford Nanopore Technologies connects to a USB port. Soon, anyone with $1,000 and a computer will be able to sequence DNA.”

How It Works: The Fastest DNA Sequencer | Popular Science.

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