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Ion Torrent: quick, cheap, low-volume next-gen sequencing

One of the bigger surprises at this year's meeting was the emergence of yet another player in the next-generation sequencing market: Ion Torrent.

The fundamental idea behind Ion Torrent is pretty cool: it relies on the fact that as nucleotides are added to a growing DNA strand there is a release of hydrogen ions. The platform immobilises DNA strands in tiny wells within a semiconductor chip, and then washes As, Cs, Gs and Ts one by one over the wells. As each base is incorporated it releases hydrogen ions that can be detected as they pass through a pore at the base of each well.

step5.jpg

cheap: $50,000 to get the box, and just $500 per run for reagents and sample prep

[ http://scienceblogs.com/geneticfuture/2010/02/new_players_in_sequencing_debu.php ]
[ http://www.iontorrent.com ]