Researchers at Genome Analysis Center in Norwich, England are working on combining MinION USB gene sequencers with Raspberry Pi to create portable real-time DNA sequencers.
NinION + Raspberry PI + Kontaminant
While Oxford Nanopore MinION’s small read lengths and high error rates have meant that it cannot replace bench sequencers anytime soon, it could soon have another potential use in the field. Combining MinION with low-cost computer such as Raspberry Pi, researchers have created portable DNA sequencer that helps in sequencing and identifying DNA without the need to take them back to the lab. To combat the high error rates, the scientists used Kontaminant to accurately identify bacterial DNA. Kontaminant is a kmer-based screening and filtering tool for next-gen sequencing reads that was essentially designed to identify foreign contaminants in a DNA sample. To further analyze the data obtained, researchers created a sequence analyzing program called NanoOK that helps analyze large amounts of data.
More than 20 bacterial samples were successfully identified, proving that the process was viable. Such a device could be extremely useful in disease outbreaks in plants and humans, helping identify pathogens on the spot and diagnose.