miniionNot all USB flash drives are the same – the MINion is extremely different from the rest, where it is capable of decoding DNA within the shortest time possible. Of course, with the amount of money forked out for the MINion (we are talking about $900 here), it ought to do far more than just stash away your private collection of photos or other important digital documents. In fact, in a demonstration, the MINion manage to sequence a simple virus known as Phi X which holds 5,000 genetic base pairs. Granted, Phi X is just a proof of principle, but at least it has the distinction of being the first DNA genome to be sequenced by the MINion, proving that the technology actually works. To extrapolate the achievement of the MINion, it would translate to the ability for it to sequence larger genomes. 

It is said that a human genome would take approximately half a dozen hours to complete, although the company behind the MINion intends to market the device for use in shorter sequencing tasks such as identifying pathogens, or perhaps even to screen for genetic mutations which can increase the risk of certain diseases.

Filed in Medical. Read more about USB.

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