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Ultra-low-cost seqeuncing (ULCS)

I just read a review on cutting-edge new sequencing technology (Shendure et al., 2004). There are several approaches that were new to me. One that caught my imagination incorporates “polony technology,in which PCR is performed in situ in an acrylamide gel” for DNA amplification. A related technique using emulsion has been developed by the Volgelstein lab.

My idea of developing a method using reversibly terminating nucleotides has also occurred to many other people! Apparently finding a way to do the reversibly termination has been a roadblock. I certainly didn’t have a way to do it. They have worked out approaches to detection of incoration, the other half of the method, and also a part I didn’t develop.

Very interesting tech. According to the paper, even nanopore sequencing is close to working!

The paper talks a bit about using ULCS for personal genome sequencing (PGP, everthing gets an acronym), about the whys and what it will mean. It contain the usual throw away consideration of ethics and consequences. The papers says this “will require high levels of informed consent and security”. In practice, your personal seq info and related disease susceptibility info *will* get spread to interested parties. Just look at who calls the shots; after more than a decade of attention to genetic privacy and overwhelming public support, “no US federal laws that ban genetic discrimination for medical insurance or in the workplace”.

How I would love to seqeunce 1Gb a week!

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