Tuesday, 16 March 2010

IonTorrent: Sequencing for the Masses

massgenomics describes it as sequencing for the masses. It does seem to be an understated technology with thoroughput and more importantly the budget that can match small research labs.

"In the last session of AGBT 2010, new player Ion Torrent impressed the crowd with a low-cost sequencing platform that uses a silicon chip to sequence DNA. The principle, for once, is easy to understand: a silicon chip printed with millions of tiny semiconductor wells. In each well, when DNA polymerase adds a base to the template strand, a hydrogen ion is released. It hits a pH detector in the bottom of the well, and the pH change is recorded digitally. Multiple incorporations cause linear increases in the pH change, so homopolymers should be less of a problem than 454. It operates on native DNA, without any of the reagents, dyes, and other complicating aspects of other sequencing technologies."

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