At the end of 2014, the company Oxford Nanopore Technologies presented a device that promised to revolutionize DNA analysis. Slightly larger than a lighter, MinION became the smallest sequencer ever made up to the date. The portable device, weighing around 100 grams, connected to a computer to sequence DNA and RNA, and included a bioinformatic program to facilitate part of the data analysis, enabling researchers to do it on-site and in real time.
An international research project published in Nature Communications some months ago heralded the discovery of 44 new viruses existing on the surface of the Mediterranean Sea, and in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean.
Every day thousands of scientists around the world sequence and analyze millions of genetic data. In clinical practice, the information they compile is used to determine possible somatic mutations that could play a role in the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of diseases. The DNA sequencing of a tumor can be done in three different ways: analyzing the entire genome, reading only the genome’s coding portion (exome) or through panels.
The presence of epithelial cells in the bloodstream of a woman with metastatic breast cancer was discovered by T.R. Ashworth more than 150 years ago. His discovery would make it possible to determine, decades later, the existence of circulating tumor cells to monitor the evolution and progression of cancer.
After tragically losing his parents to cancer, the British scientist decided to dedicate his life to his work. Shortly after completing his doctoral thesis, Sanger began to take an interest in protein sequencing, and his research earned him his first Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1958, after he deciphered the complete sequence of insulin.