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UKM Medical Molecular Biology Institute

– Genome Sequencing Laboratory

There have been major advances in sequencing technologies in the past decade. The next generation sequencers are much faster and have really high throughput. Our genome sequencing laboratory is well-equipped and we have three Next Generation Sequencing platforms namely one unit of Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine (PGM) and two units of Ion Proton.

Ion semiconductor sequencing is a method of DNA sequencing based on the detection of hydrogen ions that are released during the polymerization of DNA. The Ion PGM™ Sequencer, an NGS platform built based on this principle, is ideal for sequencing small genomes, sets of genes, or performing gene expression profiling or ChIP-Seq. The system is currently actively being used in UMBI for the identification of disease-causing mutations in endometrial cancer, colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, gliomas and also Parkinson disease.

The Ion Proton™ Sequencer, which is also based on the next generation of semiconductor sequencing technology, is the higher throughput version of the PGM. We are currently using the P1 chip at the moment but the latest high-throughput chip, PII (will only be in the market in 2015), will enable the Ion Proton™ Sequencer to sequence a human exome in a single-day workflow.

The sequencing lab is also equipped with two capillary electrophoresis systems i.e. the ABI 3130xl and ABI 3500 Genetic Analyzer for conducting a wide variety of Sanger sequencing and fragment analysis applications including microsatellite analysis, AFLP, LOH, SNP validation, and SNP screening. The other support equipments available in the lab are the Covaris™ S220 System, four thermal cyclers and the E-Gel® Agarose Gel Electrophoresis System. The laboratory is set up with separate pre- and post-PCR areas to avoid carry-over contamination during experiment and sample preparation.

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