Boston, MA (PRWEB) May 8, 2006
Reveo, Inc. announces at NanoTech 2006 that it has teamed with the University of Washington to develop a breakthrough invention for rapid sequencing of DNA using novel nano-scale electronic and photonic effects that allow for bypassing many biochemical steps necessary in conventional DNA sequencing methods. The team will demonstrate proof of concept. The ultimate goal of this effort is to produce affordable and easy-to-use commercial products. Access to a rapid, accurate, simple to use, and portable DNA sequencer has enormous potentials for impacting a number of areas:
1. Allowing for on-site sequencing for field-biology. Such a revolutionary capability will change the way field-biology is conducted today. The portable sequencer can aid in cataloguing the biodiversity of the planet and in preservation efforts.
2. Allowing for cost-effective 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. The sequencer can potentially aid in fundamentally changing the way medicine is practiced today.
The human genome consists of 23 pairs of chromosomes. Each chromosome is made of long double helix strands; in total the human genome contains the codes for approximately 30,000 genes. The codes are in the form of sequencers of four base molecules called nucleotides (A,T,C,G). These molecules have important properties of Watson-Crick pairing which allow A to only hybridize with T to form base-pair A-T, and C to only hybridize with G to form base-pair C-G. It is these pairing properties that enable the DNA to have its double helix conformation. The genes, through their unique sequence of base-pairs contain the blueprint or the architecture of how humans and, indeed, all species are built and how their life functions are controlled. Different genes control different functions. The life functions can be disrupted or disturbed by diseases when the proper sequence is altered. Known as mutation, these alterations are caused by many external influences, including the environmental conditions, and may be passed on to the future generations.
Sequencing the entire genome of an individual (measuring approximately three billion base pairs) using the state-of-the-art tools predominantly based on the Sanger method requires months and costs tens of millions of dollars. Realizing the enormous significance and the potential for benefiting humanity by lowering the cost from millions of dollars to a few dollars and reducing the sequencing time from months to hours, substantial world-wide efforts are underway to find alternative sequencing tools.
“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 new tool from all other sequencing tools, which are based on cumbersome multiple biochemical steps.
The University of Washington (http://www.washington.edu) brings to the collaboration a tradition of excellence and world-renown pioneering contributions in genomic sciences. 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. His team studies the interaction of DNA and other biomolecules with nanostructures and investigates molecular signatures. 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 breakthrough invention is presented at NanoTech 2006, which is focusing on nanotechnology and novel applications. Since the key enabling technology of the sequencer involves making nano probe arrays, Reveo’s announcement of this project is intended to attract other strategic partners.
For additional information please visit http://www.reveo.com
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