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NHGRI expands effort to revolutionize sequencing technologies

d make it feasible to sequence a genome for $1,000. The majority of researchers who received NHGRI's initial sequencing technology grants, issued in October 2004, are working on technologies to sequence a genome for $100,000. Both approaches have many complementary elements that integrate biochemistry, chemistry and physics with engineering to enhance the whole effort to develop the next generation of DNA sequencing and analysis technologies.

"It is very important that we encourage and support the variety of sequencing technology projects that hold the most promise for revolutionizing genome sequencing. Each research team brings a unique set of skills and expertise to solving difficult scientific and engineering problems," said Jeffery Schloss, Ph.D., NHGRI's program director for technology development. "The different approaches will likely yield several successful and complementary technologies. It is going to be interesting to see how each technology progresses and which of them can ultimately be used by the average researcher or physician."

"$1,000 Genome" Grants

NHGRI's "Revolutionary Genome Sequencing Technologies" grants have as their goal the development of breakthrough technologies that will enable a human-sized genome to be sequenced for $1,000 or less. Grant recipients and their approximate total funding are:

Richard B. Fair, Ph.D., Duke University, Durham, N.C.
$510,000 (2 years)
"Droplet-Based Digital Microfluidic Genome Sequencing"

The near-term goal of this group is to demonstrate how existing droplet-based microfluidic electro-wetting technology can be modified to perform sequencing by synthesis reaction chemistry. This method allows for smaller volumes of materials to be used as well as the decoupling of synthesis and detection steps, resulting in more efficient automation.

M. Reza Ghadiri, Ph.D., The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, Calif. and
Hagan P. Bayley, Ph.D., Oxford Unive
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Source:NIH


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