The defining characteristic of our exponentially increasing capability
in biology is the ease with which we are now able to sequence DNA. At
the forefront of this is Illumina. Their sequencers power two thirds
of the world market. Although there are competitors in the desktop
sequencing market, on the high end, high throughput machines Illumina
is clearly the frontrunner. These machines cost hundreds of thousands
of dollars, so it's not like peeking into the cover of your computer.
One of these machines is in the back room at BioCurious just waiting
to satisfy our curiosity!
On April 28th, at noon, you have the opportunity to come help take
apart an Illumina Genome Analyzer. We'll start with a discussion on
next generation sequencing to make sure everyone understands the
theory, then we'll dig into the machine. What optics are used? How is
the chemistry moved around? What imaging and electronics components
are used? How is the system assembled? The beast uses a combination
of microscopy, robotics, molecular biology, lasers, optics, high speed data
transfer, protein engineering, big data, and of course genomics... At the
end of the day, this spectacular machine will be laid bare. You'll see where
the magic happens and help us decide if i's possible for DIYbio makers
to hack a lower - cost DIY version.
Nowhere else in the world do you have the opportunity to break out a
screwdriver and help take apart this type of machine, only a couple years
back from the absolute state of the art. If you've ever wondered about
the intersection of manufacturing, electronics, chemical and
biological engineering that is driving the genome sequencing race,
this is your chance. We're keeping space limited so that everyone can
have a chance to get up close and participate, so sign up quickly at
the meetup page.
Hope to see you there, and bring your tool kit!