The Barcode Blog

A mostly scientific blog about short DNA sequences for species identification and discovery. I encourage your commentary. -- Mark Stoeckle

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Grapefruit-sized DNA sequencer in development

With funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, researchers at Reveo, Inc. and the University of Washington are collaborating on developing a grapefruit-sized sequencer. It uses electronic and photonic effects rather than liquid chemistry and could potentially sequence an entire genome for pennies.

In 2002, Godfray recognized that “in 10 or 20 years time it will be simpler to take an individual organism and get enough sequence data to assign it to a “sequence cluster” (equivalent to species) than to key it down using traditional methods” (Godfray 2002 Nature 417:17). That future is getting closer.

Here is your sequencer, sir

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 15th, 2006 at 3:09 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “Grapefruit-sized DNA sequencer in development”

  1. The Barcode of Life blog » Blog Archive » Worried taxonomists see future, declare it won’t work Says:

    […] In current Systematic Biology 55:844 (not open access so no article link here), three worried taxonomists opine that DNA barcoding won’t work because it’s too expensive. This is likely incorrect. Any process involving electronics and/or chemicals is likely to become faster, cheaper, and smaller, perhaps dramatically so.  Just as with GPS, lowered costs increase use, and increased use helps lower costs. On the DNA front, researchers are developing microfluidic grapefruit-sized sequencers that analyze sub-femtomole quantities of DNA in nanoliter volumes, with proportionally reduced reagents costs. Alternative technologies such as pyrosequencing may be even faster and cheaper.  […]


About this site

This web site is an outgrowth of the Taxonomy, DNA, and Barcode of Life meeting held at Banbury Center, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, September 9-12, 2003. It is designed and managed by Mark Stoeckle, Perrin Meyer, and Jason Yung at the Program for the Human Environment (PHE) at The Rockefeller University.

About the Program for the Human Environment

The involvement of the Program for the Human Environment in DNA barcoding dates to Jesse Ausubel's attendance in February 2002 at a conference in Nova Scotia organized by the Canadian Center for Marine Biodiversity. At the conference, Paul Hebert presented for the first time his concept of large-scale DNA barcoding for species identification. Impressed by the potential for this technology to address difficult challenges in the Census of Marine Life, Jesse agreed with Paul on encouraging a conference to explore the contribution taxonomy and DNA could make to the Census as well as other large-scale terrestrial efforts. In his capacity as a Program Director of the Sloan Foundation, Jesse turned to the Banbury Conference Center of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, whose leader Jan Witkowski prepared a strong proposal to explore both the scientific reliability of barcoding and the processes that might bring it to broad application. Concurrently, PHE researcher Mark Stoeckle began to work with the Hebert lab on analytic studies of barcoding in birds. Our involvement in barcoding now takes 3 forms: assisting the organizational development of the Consortium for the Barcode of Life and the Barcode of Life Initiative; contributing to the scientific development of the field, especially by studies in birds, and contributing to public understanding of the science and technology of barcoding and its applications through improved visualization techniques and preparation of brochures and other broadly accessible means, including this website. While the Sloan Foundation continues to support CBOL through a grant to the Smithsonian Institution, it does not provide financial support for barcoding research itself or support to the PHE for its research in this field.