I’m at ICG8 in Shenzhen and have rare access to the internet!  I have to use my University VPN as both wordpress and Twitter are inaccessible within China <- WEIRD!

Genia presented yesterday, they are one of the new breed of single molecule sequencing companies.  Working our of Mountain View, CA, they have about 25 employees.  Their stated aim is to produce a sequencer for less than $1000 and to be able to sequence human genomes for less than $100.

Their technology is interesting in that it uses both a biological nanopore and a polymerase.  The polymerase sits atop the nanopore, and a template single molecule of DNA is provided to the polymerase.  Single nucleotides are added to the mix and each nucleotide has a “NanoTag” tail.  As the polymerase incorporates the nucleotides, the nanopore sucks in the NanoTag, and this event is measured electronically.  The polymerase moves on and the nanopore measures the next base etc etc.

They have done proof-of-principle sequencing of about 10bp templates.  They envisage longer templates in future and even circular templates (presumably to increase accuracy).  The measurement rate is around 5-10 bases per second.

We were shown the now familiar nanopore traces which the speaker claimed showed “clear, accurate data” but which looked very messy to me.

They have a current machine at the “alpha” stage, and a “beta” version will be available “next year”.