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Chinese scientist develops world's most accurate 3rd-gen sequencer

(People's Daily Online)    16:11, July 19, 2017

He Jiankui shows a "gene book". (Southcn.com/Zhu Hongbo)

GenoCare, a new class of third-generation sequencing platform, designed and made by Chinese company Direct Genomics, is capable of directly measuring DNA and RNA sequencings at the single-molecule level without amplification, an article from biochemical sciences journal BioRxiv revealed on July 13, Science and Technology Daily reported.

Chinese and American scientists used the new GenoCare single molecule sequencing platform to resequence the E. coli genome. Results show that the accuracy of the new platform reached 99.71 percent, making it the most accurate sequencing platform in the world.

He Jiankui, born in 1980s, is the leading scientist of the research and development of the automated desktop sequencer GenoCare and a professor from Southern University of Science and Technology. At present, GenoCare is the only reliable third-generation sequencing platform with strong potential for clinical applications in the world, said He.

A researcher debugs a GenoCare sample third-generation single-molecule sequencer. (Nanfang Daily/Zhu Hongbo)

According to He, the first-generation DNA sequencing technology completed the first human genome mapping in 2001. The mapping process took three years, and cost billions of US dollars. The second-generation sequencing technology shortened the time to less than one week and shrunk the cost to $1,000. The latest technology is able to complete the work in 24 hours for only $100.

The core technology of the GenoCare platform is single-molecule fluorescence sequencing. The GenoCare detects single-molecule fluorescence by employing total internal reflection microscopy, together with sequencing-by-synthesis chemistry. The technology has greatly improved accuracy and lowered cost.

Yu Jun, a researcher at the Beijing Institute of Genomics, pointed out that the third-generation sequencer can be applied in both research and clinical fields, and has unlimited commercial prospects.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Du Mingming, Bianji)

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