holds the key to genetic diseases, and learning more about the genes
that contribute to disease is part of what researchers need to unlock
to be able to find cures for disease. DNA sequencing today is a time
consuming and expensive process. Much of the time and expense in
sequencing DNA comes from the DNA amplification process.
samples have to be amplified, a process that essentially makes a copy
of DNA to produce a larger sample that the sequencing methods of
today can work with. Researchers at Boston University have discovered
a new method that makes DNA sequencing faster and cheaper than
methods used today.
The new method eliminates the need to
amplify DNA, which cuts much of the cost associated with sequencing
of DNA today. The new
method developed by the researchers detects DNA molecules as they
pass through pores 4nm wide. An electrical current at the opening of
the pore is used to detect when the DNA strand is passing
Professor Amit Meller said, "The current study
shows that we can detect a much smaller amount of DNA sample than
previously reported. When people start to implement genome sequencing
or genome profiling using nanopores, they could use our nanopore
capture approach to greatly reduce the number of copies used in those
The team found that the longer the string
of DNA, the more quickly it was able to fine the pore opening and be
read. This is not what the researchers expected; a shorter strand
would seemingly be easier to pass though the opening.
said, "That's really surprising. You'd expect that if you have a
longer 'spaghetti,' then finding the end would be much harder. At the
same time this discovery means that the nanopore system is optimized
for the detection of long DNA strands -- tens of thousands basepairs,
or even more. This could dramatically speed future genomic sequencing
by allowing analysis of a long DNA strand in one swipe, rather than
having to assemble results from many short snippets."
discovery allows researchers to boost the capture rate by orders of
magnitude and reduce the size of the sample needed from about 1
billion molecules to only 100,000. A Stanford University professor
his own genome in a week believes that sequencing tests need to
get to the $1,500 range per test to be useful in medicine today.
quote: ...more quickly it was able to fine the pore opening...
quote: until the company that provides it sells our info to the insurance companies who will use it to determine if you get insurance or dropped from coverage
quote: The team found that the longer the string of DNA, the more quickly it was able to fine the pore opening and be read. quote: So, when you give a fine to a pore, it opens and lets itself be read. Interesting.
quote: So, when you give a fine to a pore, it opens and lets itself be read. Interesting.