It's a bird. It's a plane. It's a semiconductor sequencer. It took nearly 13 years to sequence the first human genome and it cost nearly $3 billion, but today, thanks to Life Technologies and RKS, the Ion Proton™ Sequencer can deliver an entire human genome sequence in a single day for $1000.
The implications of the affordability and speed of this type of technology are manifold but Life Technologies anticipates the applications to be far-reaching: "As DNA sequencing deciphers human, animal, and plant genomes, [the Ion Proton™ Sequencer] promises to deliver personalized medical diagnoses, improved agricultural crop yields and new sources of energy." Moreover, RKS' work on the design and delivery of the system created a simple and compact form that houses complex technologies without compromising ease of use.
In addition to delivering a world-class aesthetic and user experience, the Ion Proton™ Sequencer is a scalable, simple and fast scientific instrument. The compact housing of the instrument provides optimal ventilation. Sequencing reagents are easily accessed through doors, and the process is initiated and monitored through a touch screen interface. LED indicators provide at-a-glance confirmation of operational status, and instruments can be rack-mounted, both increasing efficiency and maximizing use of space. The front panel is highly chemical and scratch resistant, and body textures and finishes were selected to utilize materials that are expected to become recyclable.
Outshining the media accolades garnered when the Ion Proton™ Sequencer debuted at this year's CES, "The Coolest Thing I Saw at CES 2012," from PCMag and a "landmark development from the Financial Times, it was recently announced that the Ion Proton™ Sequencer received a red dot award for product design (life science category). Congratulations to RKS and Life Technologies and we look forward to seeing what innovations might develop from this technology.