Personal Genome Machine Sequencer Gives Results in Two Hours
Life Technologies has launched the Ion Personal Genome Machine (PGM) sequencer, the first product to use semiconductor sequencing technology. Ion Torrent, a business unit of Life Technologies, has invented and brought to market this fundamentally new semiconductor device that enables chemical signals to be directly translated into digital information for the first time.
Ion semiconductor sequencing is a disruptive technology because it brings the entire design, fabrication and supply chain infrastructure of the semiconductor industry — a $1 trillion investment — to bear on the challenge of DNA sequencing. The semiconductor has radically changed every industry it has touched, from the microprocessor enabling desktop computing to the complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) imager, enabling digital photography and replacing film cameras.
“Point-and-shoot digital cameras opened up photography to everyone because they were fast, cheap and easy — and people saw the results immediately, so they quickly became better photographers,” said Dr. Jonathan M. Rothberg, founder of Ion Torrent. “That’s what Ion is doing for DNA sequencing. The Ion PGM sequencer gives you results in two hours, and it’s affordable and easy-to-use, so researchers can make decisions in a timely way and can get to publication quicker.”
The PGM sequencer augments Life Technologies’ broad portfolio of DNA sequencing instruments, a market first revolutionized with the introduction of the Applied Biosystems 3700 Genetic Analyzer, which enabled the initial sequencing of the human genome. The current 3500 Series Genetic Analyzers are used for forensics, and the 3500Dx model for molecular diagnostic applications in Europe and Asia, while the SOLiD System is used in large-scale next-generation sequencing.