News FocusGenome Sequencing

Search for Pore-fection

Science  04 May 2012:
Vol. 336, Issue 6081, pp. 534-537
DOI: 10.1126/science.336.6081.534

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Summary

Oxford Nanopore Technologies is set to achieve the first commercialization of a long-awaited and oft-doubted technology called nanopore sequencing. The technology, based on protein pores so tiny that 25,000 of them can fit on the cross section of a human hair, could be the next big thing in genome sequencing and analysis. Although they've gotten much cheaper and smaller in recent years, machines that read DNA and RNA still usually cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, take up entire lab benches, and require much upfront and postsequencing processing to generate a genome. Nanopore sequencing could change all that. But some scientists say many technical hurdles remain to be overcome before nanopore devices produce actual sequence data.