Nanopore Sequencing

Harvard Magazine has a write-up on nanopore sequencing, here is a snip:

[Professor of biology emeritus Daniel] Branton reasoned that because the four bases that make up DNA commonly called A, C, G, and T after the first letter of each chemical compound’s multisyllabic name each have different dimensions, he could tell which one was passing through the hole at a given moment by observing to what degree the pore was blocked, based on the number of ions that got through along with the DNA.

The process worked. And because the bases traveled through the pore at a rate approaching one million per second, “You really had something that was orders of magnitude faster than anyone had ever dreamed of,” says [Harvard professor of physics Jene Golovchenko]…

…The Harvard colleagues are competing with many other scientists in a challenge issued by the National Institutes of Health to produce a sequencing method that costs less than $10,000 per genome by 2009, and a method for $1,000 or less by 2014.

Elizabeth Gudrais. A Personal Genome Machine? Harvard Magazine, March-April 2007.

The Harvard Nanopore Group Homepage


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