Quick Q&A

Q:  How fast are the Nabsys detectors?

A:  DNA travels through Nabsys detectors at a velocity of 1,000,000 nucleotides per second. There is no need to stop or slow down the molecule in order to collect the desired information. Assuming there is a molecule in a detector 10% of the time, the throughput for that individual detector is 100,000 bases per second. Since the detectors require very little space and are on semiconductor chips, more and more can be added to each generation of our chips.

Q:  What’s so important about electronic detection versus optical?

A:  The wavelength of light is about 1,000 times larger than the distance between DNA nucleotides. This means that a picture taken of DNA using optics is fuzzy. The resolution is poor due to the diffraction limit of light. By using electronic detection, the diffraction-limit problem is eliminated and the picture is much crisper. It also means that our maps have enough resolution, and therefore information content per unit length, to be the perfect complement to short-read NGS data.

Q:  Why are Nabsys high definition maps essential to getting more out of my NGS data?

Improvements in next-generation sequencing in recent years represent one of the great scientific and engineering accomplishments of our time. NGS excels at looking at genomic variation on a very small scale but struggles with varation at intermediate- and large-length scales.
Other technologies used to complement NGS data only modestly extend the genomic length scale about which statements can be made or, like optical mapping, are only helpful with very large-scale statements, leaving significant gaps in our understanding of genomic variation.

Q: How can I see what the data looks like or apply the Nabsys platform to the work I’m doing?

The platform is not currently available for purchase. However, we are sharing data with a select group of collaborators. If you are interested in collaborating, please contact us.