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This year, Oxford Nanopore MinION has been shipped to some researchers for testing.

The advantage of a table-top sequencer for diagnostics and personalized medicine is obvious. Similarly, research "in the field" and forensic science could be aided greatly by this device. My question is about the applications in the research lab.

What does MinION do that a well-equipped lab with access to Sanger and next-gen sequencing cannot already do?

How well does the MinION work? How powerful is it?

What important scientific discoveries are being made using the MinION?

While the website of Oxford Nanopore has a list of publications, the most recent one is from 2013. This is before the early access program began - I am particularly interested in developments since February 2014.

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't know a lot about it, but basically there is an electrically resistant membrane into which protein pores are inserted. An electric field is applied across the membrane which creates a current through the pore as ions flow through. As DNA passes through the pore, it blocks the flow of ions and thus reduces the current. Each base causes a characteristic current reduction. Its big advantage is that it is fast: it reduces amplification and assembly and can sequence something like 100 000 nts/s. However, it only has (last I heard) ~95% accuracy and so multiple passes are required. $\endgroup$ – canadianer Sep 7 '14 at 5:18
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    $\begingroup$ This blog post may be useful biomickwatson.wordpress.com/2014/09/07/… $\endgroup$ – Alan Boyd Sep 7 '14 at 15:37
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    $\begingroup$ Also omicsomics.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/… $\endgroup$ – Alan Boyd Sep 7 '14 at 21:08

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