Nanotechnology and Materials Science in the Genomic Revolution
Over the duration of the human genome project (HGP) from 1990 to 2003, more than $2.7 billion dollars were spent across 20 global institutions resulting in the cataloging of a human genome at 8 -9 X coverage. This was a monumental achievement completed through the use of traditional sequencing technologies (based on di-deoxy chain terminator nucleotides, or Sanger sequencing method), which set the foundation upon which modern methods of genetic analysis stand. Since the completion of the HGP, several global efforts have exponentially reduced the time and cost that it takes to sequence a human genome. Illumina, market leader in genetic analysis, has revolutionized genomics by the introduction of a new technology based on sequencing by synthesis that enabled large-scale sequencing endeavors. This is now becoming the foundation of modern precision medicine and is changing the way not only healthcare is performed but also revolutionizing agriculture, forensics, and pharmaceutical development around the world. Over the years, a cohort of research scientists and engineers at Illumina developed a novel technology to sequence a human genome in days (instead of years) and at the cost of $1000, bringing SBS and nanotechnology together. During this talk, I will give an overview of the technologies developed to make this happen, and present a possibility of options to pave the way to next milestones in genomic analysis.
About Sebastian Shaner: Research Engineer, Advanced Platform Technology Development, Illumina, Inc.