Simple and direct analysis of DNA will make genetic testing routine in more situations.
- May/June 2012
- By Amanda Schaffer
Credit: John MacNeill
Oxford Nanopore has demonstrated commercial machines that read DNA bases directly. The technology offers a way to make genome sequencing faster, cheaper, and potentially convenient enough to let doctors use sequencing as routinely as they order an MRI or a blood cell count, ushering in an era of personalized medicine.
The company's devices, which eliminate the need to amplify DNA or use expensive reagents, work by passing a single strand of DNA through a protein pore created in a membrane. An electric current flows through the pore; different DNA bases disrupt the current in different ways, letting the machine electronically read out the sequence.
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