The audience fidgeted with eager impatience to hear Clive Brown of Oxford Nanopore present an update on their single-molecule, real-time sequencing technology. It was known that a commercial instrument would launch later this year, but also hinted around the conference that there would be some kind of “big” announcement during his talk.
Turns out, the announcement was a small one.
Oxford Nanopore has promised to release the MinION, a disposable USB pocket-sized nanopore sequencer later this year. It will cost between $500-1000 per unit, and generate 150 Mbp of sequence per hour for about six hours. Software on your computer will analyze the data in real time. Then you pull the MinION out and toss it. That’s right, a disposable DNA sequencer.
The release of this tiny instrument will occur simultaneously with the release of the benchtop sequencer, GridION 2k, with a much bigger price tag but a dramatically lower cost per gigabase.
Needless to say, the audience buzzed with this announcement. The AGBT Twitter Feed was on fire. And the first question from an audience member: “When can I get one?”