The TCGA has an Oxford Nanopore Technologies GridION instrument for long-read, third generation sequencing. In this technology nucleic acids pass through protein nanopores embedded in a membrane and measures, in real-time, the disturbance in the electrical current across the membrane in order to determine the nucleic acid sequence. It can be used to directly sequence native DNA or RNA, cDNA or PCR-amplified DNA. Nanopore sequencing is capable of very long sequencing reads (up to 2 Mb) making it ideal for exploring RNA isoforms and chromosomal structural rearrangements and for de novo assembly of novel or complex genomes. It is also able to detect epigenetic alterations such as methylation by sequencing native DNA or RNA.
The GridION nanopore sequencing instrument can run up to 5 MinION, or Flongle, flow cells at once with on-board computing for real-time basecalling. Up to 30 Gb of sequence can be generated per MinION Flow Cell; or 2 Gb per Flongle Flow Cell.
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