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Old 08-01-2019, 03:31 AM   #1
Haiqu
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Location: Australia

Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 19
Default Why would I buy an Ion Torrent?

I've been looking at used Ion Torrent sequencers on eBay lovingly, then researching to ensure that I don't buy yet another gadget I can't use. So here's what I've discovered so far:

1. They need a dedicated server and several extra bits like the One Touch, so they're useless alone. The full setup is about $10k used.
2. Cost of use includes $90 for the cheapest chip, plus $300 in chemicals. That ain't cheap when you consider that I bought a WGS test on special from Dante Labs for $200
3. There's no information publicly available from Thermo Fisher Scientific. In fact when I visit their website, I'm blocked by a message that tells me these products aren't available in Australia. That, to me, seems stupid in the extreme.
4. The chips can be cleaned and reused indefinitely if you're willing to put up with minor contamination (83% clean is what I've been told.)
5. They are only really useful for small jobs. Doing a whole human genome would take forever and use about 1,000 chips.
6. Reagents have a shelf life of 3 months.
7. Sample preparation is time consuming and complex.

So the above indicates major suckage for the hobbyist.

Can anyone suggest a better alternative? I'm happy enough with a system that can only sequence a small genome but RNA profiling would also be nice too. Where is Moore's Law taking us? And is there something just around the corner that is both affordable and available for the low end of the market?

Last edited by Haiqu; 08-01-2019 at 03:29 PM.
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