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New method provides near-accurate pocket-sized DNA sequencer



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Researchers have discovered a simple way to eliminate nearly all sequencing errors caused by the widely used portable DNA sequencer that could help scientists working outside the lab to study and track microbes such as viruses. SARS-CoV-2 more effectively.


By using a special molecular tag, the team was able to reduce the error rate of 5 to 1

5 percent of Oxford Nanopore Technologies’ MinION devices to less than 0.005 percent, even when extremely long DNA sequences were performed each time.

“MinION has revolutionized genomics by releasing DNA sequencing from the realm of large labs,” said Ryan Ziels, assistant professor of civil engineering at the University of British Columbia and co-author of the study, published this week. in Natural way“But until now, researchers have not been able to rely on the device in different settings because of the relatively high error rate.”

The genome sequence can reveal a lot about an organism, including its ancestral identity and its strengths and vulnerabilities. Scientists use this data to better understand the microorganisms that live in specific environments and to develop diagnostic and therapeutic tools. But without an accurate portable DNA sequencer, important genetic details could be missed when researching in the field or in a small laboratory.

So Ziels and his collaborators at Aalborg University created a unique barcode system that can make long-read DNA sequencing platforms like MinION 1,000 times more accurate after tagging the target molecules with these barcodes. Researchers will perform the usual tasks – amplifying or duplicating multiple tagged molecules using standard PCR techniques and sequencing the resulting DNA.

The researchers could then use barcodes to easily identify and group related DNA fragments in the sequencing data, eventually producing near-perfect sequences from fragments that are 10 times longer than conventional DNA technology. The longer length allows it to detect genetic changes and even small amounts of genome assembly.

“The beautiful thing about this approach is that it can be used with any interesting genes that can be expanded,” Ziels said, where the team has created code and protocols for processing sequential data available through open-source repositories. “This means that it can be very useful in all fields where the combination of high-precision and long-term genome data is valuable, such as cancer research, plant research, human genetics, and microbiome science.”

Ziels is now partnering with Metro Vancouver to develop additional methods that allow real-time detection of microorganisms in water and wastewater. With an accurate picture of the microbes present in their water systems, Ziels said, the community may be able to improve public health strategies and treatment technologies and better control the proliferation of harmful microbes such as SARS-CoV-2.


New DNA scanning methods could lead to faster diagnosis of cancers and rare diseases.


More information:
Søren M. Karst et al, High-precision long-read amplicon sequencing using a unique molecular identifier with nanoport or PacBio sequencing. Natural way (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41592-020-01041-y

Provided by University of British Columbia

Reference: New method helps pocket-sized DNA sequencers achieve near-perfect accuracy (2021, January 12) .Retrieved January 13, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-01-method-pocket-sized. -dna-sequencer-near -perfect.html

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