Nanopore sequencing is a technology using flow cells which contain an array of tiny holes — nanopores — embedded in an electro-resistant membrane to determine the order of nucleotides in DNA. Each nanopore corresponds to its own electrode connected to a channel and sensor chip, which measures the electric current that flows through the nanopore. When a molecule passes through a nanopore, the current is disrupted to produce a characteristic ‘squiggle’. The squiggle is then decoded using base calling algorithms to determine the DNA or RNA sequence in real time.
Our Biology Teacher, Dr. Chuck Chi Pang, has led a group of S.5 students to work on nanopore DNA sequencing in the Cell Biotechnology Research Centre. The plant tissue samples sequenced were collected on our school campus, including the space-exposed seeds in the environmental trail.