Nanopore reader makes fast, cheap DNA sequencing possible
Researchers have created a nanoscale sensor to electronically read the sequence of a single DNA molecule quickly and cheaply. This new technique could make DNA sequencing widely available and personalized medicine much more affordable. "There is a clear path to a workable, easily produced sequencing platform," said Jens Gundlach, a University of Washington physics professor who leads the research team. "We augmented a protein nanopore we developed for this purpose with a molecular motor that moves a DNA strand through the pore a nucleotide at a time." The researchers previouslycreated the nanopore by genetically engineering a protein pore from a mycobacterium. The nanopore has an opening 1 billionth of a meter wide, just large enough for a single DNA strand to pass through.