Sequencing DNA could get a lot faster and cheaper – and thus closer to routine use in clinical diagnostics – thanks to a new method developed by a research team based at Boston University. The team has demonstrated the first use of solid state nanopores — tiny holes in silicon chips that detect DNA molecules as they pass through the pore — to read the identity of the four nucleotides that encode each DNA molecule. In addition, the researchers have shown the viability of a novel, more efficient method to detect single DNA molecules in nanopores.
"We have employed, for the first time, an optically-based method for DNA sequence readout combined with the nanopore system," said Boston University biomedical engineer Amit Meller, who collaborated with other researchers at Boston University, and at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. "This allows us to probe multiple pores simultaneously using a single fast digital camera. Thus our method can be scaled up vastly, allowing us to obtain unprecedented DNA sequencing throughput."
The research is detailed in Nano Letters [http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/nl1012147]. The National Institutes of Health are currently considering a four-year grant application to further advance Meller's nanopore sequencing project.
This low-cost, ultra-fast DNA sequencing could revolutionize both healthcare and biomedical research, and lead to major advances in drug development, preventative medicine and personalized medicine. By gaining access to the entire sequence of a patient's genome, a physician could determine the probability of that patient developing a specific genetic disease.
The team's findings show that nanopores, which can analyze extremely long DNA molecules with superior precision, are uniquely positioned to compete with current, third-generation DNA sequencing methods for cost, speed and accuracy. Unlike those approaches, the new nanopore method does not rely on enzymes whose activity limits the rate at which DNA sequences can be read.
"This puts us in the unique advantageous position of being able to claim that our sequencing method is as fast as the rapidly evolving photographic technologies," said Meller. "We currently have the capability of reading out about 200 bases per second, which is already much faster than other commercial third-generation methods. This is only the starting point for us, and we expect to increase this rate by up to a factor of four in the next year." Licensing intellectual property from Boston University and Harvard University, Meller and his collaborators recently founded NobleGen Biosciences to develop and commercialize nanopore sequencing based on the new method.
"I believe that it will take three to five years to bring cheap DNA sequencing to the medical marketplace, assuming an aggressive research and development program is in place," said Meller.
Michael Seele | EurekAlert!
The world's tiniest first responders
21.06.2018 | University of Southern California
A new toxin in Cholera bacteria discovered by scientists in Umeå
21.06.2018 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council
In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
21.06.2018 | Life Sciences
21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences
21.06.2018 | Life Sciences