Friday, 16 September 2011

Ion Torrent PGM Technology updates

Attended PGM Technology update talk by Micheal Rhodes by Life Technologies today.
PGM does seem to be the most promising platform with room to grow
I am curious though how much more wells they can squeeze into the chip size without having to upgrade the machine or doing 'dual core' tricks to double throughput.
But as I understand, they cannot load all of the wells with beads as the software actually uses the empty wells to be the noise filter at the processing stage.

Interesting snippets.

They have been getting inhouse throughput of
50.3 Mbp  (~600k reads) on the 314 Chip
330 Mbp on the 316 Chip

The longest read that they officially have without errors is 341 bp (though I guess it's a matter of chance that the sequence matches the 'samba' random cycle that one can achieve longer reads)

one also can do miRNA sequencing with 5 ng of miRNA although the number of reads might be a tad limiting based on the transcriptome complexity of your organism.

Would be interesting to see what numbers are coming out from Broad and BGI though. Please post in comments if you have them.

Will update if i remember more stuff.

What is interesting is that they have been pushing the throughput envelope but they are more careful about pushing new protocols without extensive testing.
I like the direction they are going ahead with releasing public data and allowing fair comparisons and I hope that other vendors take up the same direction.
I do understand why they wish to keep all the discussions ( uncensored ) within their Ion Community to make it a vibrant supportive community. I don't really like the idea that they made the Torrent Users section only for someone with a PGM serial number.
This makes life hard for labs sequencing with providers or core labs.

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