Reveo, Inc. has announced at NanoTech 2006 that it has teamed with the University of Washington to develop an invention for rapid sequencing of DNA using nano-scale electronic and photonic effects that allow for bypassing many biochemical steps necessary in conventional DNA sequencing methods.
Access to a portable DNA sequencer has enormous potentials for impacting a number of areas:
- Allowing for on-site sequencing for field-biology. The portable sequencer can aid in cataloguing the biodiversity of the planet and in preservation efforts.
- Allowing for sequencing of a large number of genomes hence producing sizable libraries. Forming such libraries is the critical step for developing personalized medicine by establishing the connection between genotypes and phenotypes.
"Our invention, which is covered by several issued and pending patents, has the potential of achieving the result for microbial genome in minutes and for pennies in a portable device," declared Dr. Sadeg Faris, an inventor of the novel method, and the founder and CEO of Reveo, Inc. Dr. Faris added,
"I have confidence that this new sequencing tool is realizable, since it is analogous to a tool I had previously invented and commercialized, the world's fastest oscilloscope, the Pico-second Signal Processor (PSP-1000), that continues to hold the speed record to this date."
"The analogy between the oscilloscope and the new DNA sequencing tool can simply be understood by replacing the ultra high resolution in time with one in space."
Armed with this analogy, the inventor differentiates his tool from all other sequencing tools, which are based on cumbersome multiple biochemical steps.
Professor Babak Parviz, director of the Nanosystems Laboratory and a faculty member in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington, will lead the effort.
He expresses his enthusiasm regarding the recently announced partnership by commenting, "We are very excited about this opportunity. The substantial financial support provided to the University by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation allows us to move very aggressively and significantly shorten the time between a laboratory demonstration and a prototype."
"We have investigated a number of methods to acquire electronic signatures from DNA strands, proteins, and other molecules."
"We are confident that the unique combination of the multi-disciplinary expertise in our research teams, and the invaluable knowledge provided by Reveo Inc. will transition ideas to the market."
This invention is presented at NanoTech 2006, which is focusing on nanotechnology and novel applications.