EDNA Lab - Coming February 2019
The image above on the left is of the MinION from Oxford Nanopore Technologies. This is the device EDNA used to complete the prototype for the EDNA Lab service and to acquire the genetic data used to test the Cuda code (run on Nvidia Kepler GPU’s) written to log variants in the genetic information with the GRCh38 standard reference. The device is capable of generating just over 90 Gb of genetic sequence data in roughly 48 hours from purified DNA.
It just so happens that to sequence a human genome with the industry standard complete genome (called “30x” since each molecule in the DNA is read a targeted 30-times each in order to reduce errors in the data) requires right about 90 Gb of genetic reads.
Clearly processing DNA at the rate of one human every 2 days is not enough capacity for EDNA to go into production. Capacity upgrades are needed.
The device shown on the above right is called the PromethION also manufactured by ONT. It’s newest version is equivalent to 48 MinION’s in a single box with those individual flow cells having increased capacity to 150 Gb per cell. With the PromethION EDNA could fully sequence humans at the rate of 1 person per hour and with 5 machines, we would achieve our on chain target of 5,000 genomes in just over 40 days.
EDNA is currently evaluating multiple means of funding the purchase of the needed lab equipment and supplies: Venture Capital, Crowdfunding and Advanced Sequencing Sales are all being examined as possible avenues to get the EDNA doors open, and the Member DNA on-chain. If you are interested in talking with us about possible investment opportunities, please reach out to the EDNA Founder.
The images above showcase the rapidly improving technology of the PromithION over just a few short months,
There are many other options available as far as sequencing equipment goes, EDNA has chosen ONT as its vendor of choice in great part because of the modular nature of their products. If you look again at the image at the top-left of this page, you’ll note the device is comprised of a silver colored metal part and a black inside plastic component. The inside piece is called a flow cell. These flow cells are the part of the sequencer that accepts the purified DNA, and can process up to about 1 & 1/2 human genomes before they must be returned to ONT for recycling/refurbishing. It is within these cells that advances in the technology are expected, meaning EDNA will have very little investment tied up in technology that will be come easily outdated, and very little fixed asset costs, as these flow cells are consumable products.
The image below shows the plummeting cost to acquire a full human genome over the past several years… from over 100 million dollars in 2001 to now under 1,000 dollars in 2018. The falling costs to extract the data from DNA. This assures that EDNA will at some point be financially viable even with minimal to no outside funding.
For “bench” or “wet-work” EDNA is evaluating several manufacturers of robotic pipetting machines. Many choices are on the market and reasonably priced. By using robots EDNA can assure the highest quality and consistent preparation of the DNA samples submitted, as the robot is capable of taking over the full ONT protocol for preparing the saliva sample and loading the flow cells. Below is a video of one such robot in operation.