Novel device allows selective DNA sequencing in real time

Novel device allows selective DNA sequencing in real time

London, July 26 (IANS) Using a novel technique, scientists have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to selectively sequence fragments of DNA in real time, thus greatly reducing the period needed to analyse biological samples.

“This is the first time that direct selection of specific DNA molecules has been shown on any device. We hope that it will enable many future novel applications, especially for portable sequencing,” said Matt Loose from University of Nottingham.

Called MinION, the new device was used with real-time nanopore sequencing to enable the user analyse only DNA strands that contain pre-determined signatures of interest.

“This makes sequencing as efficient as possible and will provide a viable, informatics based alternative to traditional wet lab enrichment techniques. The application of this approach to a wide number of problems from pathogen detection to sequencing targeted regions of the human genome is now within reach,” Loose added in a paper described in the journal Nature Methods.

The pocket-sized device — the same technology which NASA recently sent to the International Space Station (ISS) in an effort to investigate whether DNA sequencing is possible in microgravity – employs tiny molecular pores in a membrane that ‘sense’ the sequence of DNA fragments passing through these nanopores, producing minute fluctuations in a current trace.

These current traces, termed “squiggles” then need to be converted to DNA bases using base caller software, often located in the cloud. The team used signal processing techniques to map these squiggles to reference sequences, by passing this step.

The researchers showed that this “real-time selective sequencing”, or as some have called it “DNA testing”, can reduce the time needed to sequence key DNA fragments or enable the analysis of pathogen samples where there is host and other DNA present in the sample.

Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!

The opinions, views, and thoughts expressed by the readers and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of or any employee thereof. is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the readers. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.  

We request the readers to refrain from posting defamatory, inflammatory comments and not indulge in personal attacks. However, it is obligatory on the part of to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments to the concerned authorities upon their request.

Hence we request all our readers to help us to delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by informing us at Lets work together to keep the comments clean and worthful, thereby make a difference in the community.

Please enter your name here