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Old 02-21-2012, 07:21 AM   #26
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Location: San Diego

Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 7

Originally Posted by nxgsqq View Post
I too agree the error is acceptable, IF, it is indeed the typical error they see and not a 'best case' presented for effect and advertisement. I am suspicious of resolving 64 levels (3 base read) electronically considering how small the differences will be. I don't completely buy the algorithmic deconvolution either, especially if they are still using a polymerase. If it is a non-stochasitic transport, a Viterbi/HMM algorithm might give 94% accuracy.

The bigger unknown is the true, customer usability of their pores. I would assume they are Poisson loading the pores before they ship to users. How many pores are still active after an hour of use? I know the bilayers can be made stable and inert, I can accept the error profile can be made length independent (especially if they tether the motor to the pore, else Brownian motion of long DNA can act to pull the complex off, even against the electric field), but how many pores are sequening at a given time and how does that number drop off over time?
They are certainly not using a polymerase; they have developed their own 'motor-protein enzyme' by screening 300+ mutations of some natural enzyme (possibly a helicase?).

Their nanopore array is possibly the most innovative feature of their system - they have developed some sort of a synthetic polymer that replaces the lipid bilayer. So they are able to embed the protein in the polymer and array them on the chip overcoming the Poisson distribution. According to Brown, 80% of the chip is still functional after 3 days (I assume 3 days after activation). They also exposed the chip to blood and sewage and it retained functionality. The extreme stability of the synthetic polymer is what's enabling the MINIon technology really.
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