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ASU Wins $1.7M Grant for Nanotube Sequencing

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Arizona State University will use a $1.7 million Grand Opportunities grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop DNA sequencing technology using carbon nanotubes and which would require less sample preparation and reagents, ASU said Monday.

The two-year grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute will support research at ASU's Biodesign Institute, which will use the nanotube technology to enable the sequencing of much longer stretches of DNA than is possible with current technologies, according to ASU.

"While the costs of sequencing the complete DNA information of an individual have plummeted in recent years, from $1 billion to $100,000 or less, the field is still very actively searching for a next-generation breakthrough technology," ASU Professor Stuart Lindsay, who is director of the Biodesign Institute's Center for Single Molecule Biophysics, said in a statement. "Our goal is to simplify DNA sequencing like the invention of the transistor simplified electronics."

NHGRI has made development of technologies for sequencing a human genome for under $1,000 a priority for its American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding, which supports the GO grants program.

"Our technology aims to save costs because there is almost no sample preparation and use of costly reagents, and we will use a direct electronic readout from a small, computer-chip-like device," Lindsay added.

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