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A miniature DNA sequencing device that plugs into a laptop and was developed by Oxford Nanpore has been tested by an open, international consortium, including Oxford University researchers.

The MinION is the smallest high-throughput DNA-sequencing device currently available
The MinION is the smallest high-throughput DNA-sequencing device currently available

The results show that it provides good, repeatable results that can be just as useful as those provided by larger, more expensive devices.

The MinION is a handheld DNA-sequencing device developed by Oxford Nanopore, a spin-out company from the University of Oxford. The smallest high-throughput sequencing system currently available, the device can be plugged into any computer using a USB port, weighs just 90 grams and measures 10 centimetres in length. It works by detecting individual DNA bases that pass through a nanopore — a tiny hole in a membrane. When the DNA bases pass through or near the nanpore, they create a distinctive electrical current, allowing the device to read long DNA sequences in a way that is not possible on most other devices.

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