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Shiny and New

Oxford Nanopore is showing off its two nanopore sequencing systems — the GridIon and MinIon — at this week's American Society of Human Genetics conference in San Francisco.

Conference attendees have even started a thread at the SeqAnswers forum for posting photos of the systems.

Oxford Nanopore is not presenting any data that it has generated from its systems, but says that it is currently in an early-access user program and will begin commercialization after the completion of that program — although it is not providing a timeline as to when that might be or disclosing the identity of its early access users.

The lack of data has drawn the ire of blogger Mike the Mad Biologist, making him wonder whether the company has been able to meet some of its challenges. "If they had solved the indel problem and produced a kickass sequence of, let’s say, an E. coli K-12 genome (a standard test organism for sequencing technology), wouldn’t they have released the data?" he asks. "Hell, wouldn’t they be shouting it from the rooftops? So where are the data?"

Oxford Nanopore announced the systems at this year's Advances in Genome Biology and Technology, as our sister publication In Sequence reported.

The GridIon system takes disposable cartridges, which house the nanopores. On display at ASHG are both cartridges that could load one sample each and cartridges that could load 96 samples.

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According to a company official, engineers are working on developing a cartridge that can load 384 samples. The MinIon system is a disposable system that plugs into a USB port.

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Last February, the company said that the systems would be able to generate read lengths of 100 kilobase pairs and said that in its lab it had generated reads of 50 kb with an accuracy of 96 percent. The MinIon system will be priced for less than $1,000. The company has not yet determined a price for the GridIon system.

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