November 20, 2017 / by Rafał Małanij
Since mid-November we became an Nanopore-enabled laboratory. This was a pretty important day for us as we finally were able to “touch” the actual NGS process not only work with the data ir produces.
First impression after unboxing was - “WOW, it’s so small!!!”. In fact we have received 3 packages - 2 big ones with flow cells and other reagents and one envelope with the device. It is quite interesting that the MinION itself is shipped in regular envelope at the size not bigger than a packed mobile phone. This clearly states what you should really care of while working with MinION - not the device itself but the flow cell and others. Remember that these materials has to be stored in controlled conditions - flow cells should be stored in the fridge (2-4 degree Celsius) while other reagents in the freezer (-20 degrees Celsius)
A while after unboxing the MiniION we have performed Platofrm QC process as advised by the producer. This took just an hour and was pretty striaghtforward. A few days later we have planned first sequencing experiment - Lambda phage experiment delivered by Oxford Nanopore. Even though the experiment was rather simple the documentation is not quite clear about how to operate MinION. Especially when you do it for the first time, it can be a bit tricky.
We had another problem with computing - until MinION was just sending reads our laptop was doing right, however when it started basecalling we had to stop the experiment due to poor performance. Fortunately you can restart the experiment and just collect the reads. We will review first results in the future blog post.
To summarize - MinION allows to perform sequencing experiments almost everywhere as long as you can prepare a library there. You have to care fully plan your sequencing as flow cells can be used up to 48h after start. You can send them back to Oxford Nanopore for regeneration, but We do not know yet how it works and what are the prices.
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