PoreLab is officially opened on November 1st, 2016. This new lab located at the Sylvius Laboratory will be working with the latest DNA analysis technology and will bring science, education and industry together to explore practical applications with the MinION.
The MinION of Oxford Nanopore, a device of pocket format, is the first representative of a new, disruptive sequencing technology. Advantages of this method are that it reads the DNA immediately and does not consume large amounts of expensive chemicals.
PoreLab is initiated by Generade, a consortium of biotechnology company BaseClear, Hogeschool Leiden, LUMC, Naturalis Biodiversity Centre and Leiden University, in collaboration with ZF-screens. Fourteen SME partners participate in the project with the delivery of practical issues. PoreLab is made possible by a RAAK-mkb grant from the National Regieorgaan Practice based Research SIA.
Dr. Christiaan Henkel, lector bioinformatics at Generade and co-founder of the PoreLab: “With the PoreLab, we will be able to explore the potential of nanopore sequencing technology. So far, we have used the technology for pilot projects and for sequencing small bacterial and yeast genomes. With this new investment, we can now broaden our scope to investigate other emerging possibilities, for example in the fields of transcriptomics and metagenomics. This is a very timely development, as nanopore technology is currently making enormous progress in terms of both throughput and reliability. Therefore, in the near future, we will be able to tackle genomes that were impossible to sequence until now, for example those of tulips."
Award ceremony Nanopore proposals
Part of the program during the opening ceremony was the award ceremony of the Nanopore R&D projects. On the 2nd of September Bas Reichert, CEO of BaseClear, announced during the Oxford Nanopore seminar a competition for innovative projects that can now be solved by using the MinION. Both BaseClear and Generade selected a winner from more than thirty proposals. BaseClear selected Heineken as prize winner with their project to map bacteria that affect the quality of the beer. Generade has selected the proposal of the Erasmus MC to investigate DNA in the blood of organ donors and recipients to reduce the chance of rejection of the donor organ.