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Whitehead Institute to Test New Sequencer; Scientists Claim Speeds of Seven Times that of Previous Machines

NEW YORK, Nov. 21 (GenomeWeb News) - The Whitehead Institute announced yesterday that it has begun testing a new DNA sequencer that will be able to sequence the human genome in one year.


The BioMems 768 Sequencer, developed with a $7 million grant awarded in 1999 by the National Human Genome Research Institute, will be commercialized by Woburn, Mass.-based Network Biosystems and will be manufactured by Shimadzu Biotech.


Scientists at Whitehead say the machine can process up to 7 million bases a day, and will eventually need only 1 percent of a typical DNA sample to do sequencing. The machine tests 384 lanes of DNA at a time, four times more than existing capillary sequencers, according to the scientists. It takes 45 minutes to sequence one lane.


Note: In response to an earlier version of this article, a scientist at Amersham Biosciences wrote in an e-mail to  GenomeWeb that the company's existing MegaBace 4000 sequencer processes 384 samples at once, and generates over 2.8 million bases per day.

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