Almost 150 different genomes have been sequenced to date, including the human genome. But sequencing needs are growing faster than ever: In March 2003, the Bush administration announced it will spend $1 billion over five years to increase forensic analysis of DNA, including a backlog of up to 300,000 samples. And the success of the growing field of genomic medicine, which promises to deliver better therapies and diagnostics, depends on faster sequencing technology.
This fall, researchers at Whitehead Institute will test new technology that could aid these and other endeavors. The BioMEMS 768 Sequencer can sequence the entire human genome in only one year, processing up to 7 million DNA letters a day, about seven times faster than its nearest rival. Scientists began working on the project in 1999 with a $7 million National Human Genome Research Institute grant. The technology eventually will help scientists quickly determine the exact genetic sequence of the DNA of many different organisms, and could lead to faster forensic analysis of DNA gathered in criminal cases.
The heart of the new BioMEMs machine is a large glass chip etched with tiny microchannels called "lanes." It tests 384 lanes of DNA at a time, four times more than existing capillary sequencers. Each lane can accommodate longer strands of DNA: about 850 bases (the nucleic acids found in DNA, abbreviated by the letters A, C, T or G), compared to the current 550 bases per lane.
David Appell | EurekAlert!
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For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
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For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
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Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
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Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
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Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
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16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy