Monday, October 2, 2017

A big step in plant genetics

New technology has recently allowed scientists to make advancements in research methods out in the field.  For the first time ever, researches used a portable DNA sequencer, the MinION from Oxford Nanopore Technologies, to analyze plant species in Snowdonia National Park.  Two innocuous white flowers were identified in the field.  They sequenced random parts of the plants’ genomes rather than targeting specific pieces of DNA.  This was the first time genomic sequencing of plants has been performed in the field.  DNA sequencing has come a long way over the past years as scientists are finding more efficient ways to sequence data in a timely matter. A process that would have taken a scientist months to complete can now be done in a timely fashion out in the field these days.  This is revolutionary for scientists as they can now complete projects more efficiently and accurately as they don’t have to transport specimen samples back to the lab.  There is less risk for the samples to be messed up as they can now collect data in the field.  The field sequenced data can be used to assemble a whole genome sequence and act as a reference database for species.  This is amazing news for the science world as we are now able to conduct research more productively.  I think this is a great step for science as more scientists can utilize this new technology in the field.  The idea of a reference database for species is also a good idea as it is a quick thing scientists can reference when out in the field.  An article in Nature analyzes their data and determines whether the DNA collected in the field is accurate enough to identify the species. 

No comments:

Post a Comment