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Pathology Department desktop DNA sequencer first in NZ

Thursday 28 October 2021 10:05am

Dr Issam Mayyas, Professor Mike Eccles, Dr Robert Weeks and Dr Magdalena Ratajska with the MiniSeq desktop DNA sequencer image
Dr Issam Mayyas, Professor Mike Eccles, Dr Robert Weeks and Dr Magdalena Ratajska with the MiniSeq desktop DNA sequencer.

A new desktop DNA sequencer in the Pathology Department, believed to be the first of its particular model in New Zealand, plus an automated DNA extraction instrument, are some of the key parts of an envisaged new facility that will soon be available for wider medical school use.

The MiniSeq desktop DNA sequencer is for small scale Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) applications using DNA or RNA.

It was bought with funds granted by the Dunedin School of Medicine topped up with a $5000 contribution from Professor Mike Eccles’s Translational Research Award from the New Zealand Society of Oncology.

“We understand this will be the first of this instrument to be installed in New Zealand, which is exciting. Using this sequencer, and new Maxwell DNA extraction instrument, we intend to set up a new small-scale sequencing service for the medical school,” Professor Eccles says.

Larger scale NGS sequencing is already available on the Otago campus at Otago Genomics Facility for servicing client-initiated research-related work, but NGS at a smaller scale is also very useful, Professor Eccles says.

“We plan to offer services for automated extraction of DNA or RNA from blood or other tissue of interest, together with the capacity for small-scale sequencing (up to 25 million sequence reads for one or more samples from an overnight run) of client-provided biological samples in a research capacity.”

The MiniSeq machine system includes embedded touch screen monitor and on-instrument computer, MiniSeq Control Software, Local Run Manager analysis and management software.

“While it is one of the smaller NGS machines, it is also one of the most recently designed for the market and is comparatively powerful for its size.”

The MiniSeq desktop DNA sequencer image
The MiniSeq desktop DNA sequencer.