Researchers at Garvan Institute in Sydney, Australia announced a million base pair DNA read on MinION Nanopore, bringing the USB sized sequencers closer to Illumina’s MiSeq desktop sequencers.
The researchers led by Martin A Smith, Ph.D., the head of genomic technologies in the Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics, used incredibly precise preparation techniques and blunt pipette tips to achieve 1 million base pair sequencing. The biggest and the most unexpected challenge was analyzing the 1 million base pair read, since most of the software available for Nanopore analysis is designed for significantly smaller number of basepair reads.
The read accuracy is reported to be 90% identical to the human reference sequence. The latest achievement of 1 million base reads by MinION might be a huge step, it is still a long way from replacing desktop sequencers from Roche and Illumina. The ability to analyze raw data for up to 1MB gives researchers in the field powerful tools to diagnose diseases instantly.