×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Device Can Extract DNA With Full Genetic Data In Minutes

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the looking-at-your-code dept.

Biotech 95

vinces99 writes "Imagine taking a swab of saliva from your mouth and, within minutes, having your DNA ready for genome sequencing. A new device from University of Washington engineers and a company called NanoFacture can extract human DNA from fluid samples in a simpler, more efficient and environmentally friendly way than conventional methods. It will give hospitals and labs a much easier way to separate DNA from human fluid samples, which will help with genome sequencing, disease diagnosis and forensic investigations."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

95 comments

I can't wait (3, Funny)

denis-The-menace (471988) | about a year ago | (#43647121)

GATTACA here we come!

Re:I can't wait (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#43647149)

This is only half of the GATTACA scanner. The other half is instantaneous DNA sequencing.

Re:I can't wait (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43647321)

This is only half of the GATTACA scanner. The other half is instantaneous DNA sequencing.

You mean, you need to feed the output of your GATTACA extractor into a plug-compatible CTAATGT sequencer?

Re:I can't wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43653035)

Panasonic develops DNA-scanning 'lab-on-a-chip'
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/04/07/panasonic_dna_test_lab_on_a_chip/

Re:I can't wait (1)

pjt33 (739471) | about a year ago | (#43651005)

Or in other words: in an example of /. editing at its finest, it's not even necessary to read the article to see that the headline is plain wrong.

Eugenics the other half of GATTACA (1)

peter303 (12292) | about a year ago | (#43653421)

The created a new class of genetically gifted in society. This caused class tension with the ordinaries and defectives.

Unlike GATTACA, rapid testing would mean everyone is analyzed and databsed at birth or before. Then just rapid sub-testing of a few markers culd match the database instead full resequencing every identity check.

Re:I can't wait (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43647307)

It always annoys me how here, on slashdot, for nerds, we love technology and advances EXCEPT WHEN IT COMES TO BIOLOGY. Then it's nothing but "whatcouldpossiblygowrong" or GATTACA, or I am legend or zombies.

Yes, technology has downsides and dangers. All technology does. Always. Yes, you need to be aware of it. No, it is not going to cause a dystopian future or apocalypse just because that was the premise of a movie. A lot of other things would have to fail for us to reach gattaca. For example, we'd have to be dumb enough to allow discrimination based on genetics, and we'd have to for some reason decide that nature was all that matters when it comes to nature vs nurture. But given the patriot act and other current events, I'd say we can create a dystopian future for ourselves even if we stopped all scientific progress.

Instantaneous sequencing would be extremely useful in medicine. There's no way to quantify it, but I'm going to say this technology is approximately a billion times more likely to save your life than it is to cause you to be a discriminated underclass of people who are outcasts due to genetics. Anyway its a billion times a billion times more likely this will amount to nothing more than marketing hype. I'm still waiting on this to show up in my lab. [nanoporetech.com]

But bigger point: either don't fear biotech advances, or at least be equal: every article about faster or better computer components, how about we fret about the Matrix or Skynet or a million other scifi dystopian works of fiction that involve computers rather than biotech.

Hypocritical Luddites...

Re:I can't wait (3, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#43647547)

It always annoys me how here, on slashdot, for nerds, we love technology and advances EXCEPT WHEN IT COMES TO BIOLOGY. Then it's nothing but "whatcouldpossiblygowrong" or GATTACA, or I am legend or zombies.

Hhhm, looks like most of these are not biological:
http://slashdot.org/tag/whatcouldpossiblygowrong [slashdot.org]

Re:I can't wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43649067)

Bookmarked for a good laugh. Please mod +1 Funny.

Re:I can't wait (1)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year ago | (#43649505)

It always annoys me how here, on slashdot, for nerds, we love technology and advances EXCEPT WHEN IT COMES TO BIOLOGY. Then it's nothing but "whatcouldpossiblygowrong" or GATTACA, or I am legend or zombies.

Hhhm, looks like most of these are not biological: http://slashdot.org/tag/whatcouldpossiblygowrong [slashdot.org]

Why do you have to go ruin his misguided rant like that? A rant that was entirely entertaining to read. A rant that is already a part of his government documentation... [slashdot.org] Of course, despite the fact that all other information which can be gathered about a person already is; the incredibly intriguing tidbit discussed in this article probably won't be.

Re:I can't wait (1)

Beorytis (1014777) | about a year ago | (#43647655)

There's no way to quantify it, but I'm going to say this technology is approximately a billion times more likely to save your life than it is to cause you to be a discriminated underclass of people who are outcasts due to genetics

What then is the relative likelihood that we will receive targeted advertising based on our genetic profile?

Re:I can't wait (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | about a year ago | (#43647657)

But bigger point: either don't fear biotech advances, or at least be equal

But they're not equal. Dystopian futures involving computers promise a future where we're ruled over by machines - which, might be more capable than we are. There is an element of coolness to robotic/computer overlords.

Biotech dystopian futures, on the other hand, promise a future where we're ruled over by humans who think they're more capable than we are (but probably aren't)....just like now. And there's nothing cool about being ruled over by a human...just like now.

Re:I can't wait (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#43647797)

I always thought a biotech disaster would most likely just kill all or most of us. Technological disasters are more likely to bring about some new form of Fascism, witch is easily remedied via the 2nd amendment or hacking, or some other cool thing that the average slashdotter would love to be involved in even if in reality they'd probably end up just as dead either way.

Re:I can't wait (1)

dan828 (753380) | about a year ago | (#43647967)

But bigger point: either don't fear biotech advances, or at least be equal

But they're not equal. Dystopian futures involving computers promise a future where we're ruled over by machines - which, might be more capable than we are. There is an element of coolness to robotic/computer overlords.

Biotech dystopian futures, on the other hand, promise a future where we're ruled over by humans who think they're more capable than we are (but probably aren't)....just like now. And there's nothing cool about being ruled over by a human...just like now.

Or perhaps, a utopian future where the amoral sociopaths aren't allowed to hold public office?

Re:I can't wait (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | about a year ago | (#43648787)

Or perhaps, a utopian future where the amoral sociopaths aren't allowed to hold public office?

You win the patented Slashdot Delusional Optimist of the Hour award. Your prize is 2 Internets.

Re:I can't wait (1)

Crudely_Indecent (739699) | about a year ago | (#43649587)

Any technology that would prevent amoral sociopaths from public office in the future would be made illegal by amoral sociopaths holding public office in the present.

Re:I can't wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43650949)

But bigger point: either don't fear biotech advances, or at least be equal

But they're not equal. Dystopian futures involving computers promise a future where we're ruled over by machines - which, might be more capable than we are. There is an element of coolness to robotic/computer overlords.

Biotech dystopian futures, on the other hand, promise a future where we're ruled over by humans who think they're more capable than we are....just like now, except they actually are. And there's nothing cool about being ruled over by a human...just like now.

FTFY

Re:I can't wait (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#43647829)

I blame your confirmation bias. Really, Slashdot is also heavily biased against certain advances in:

  • Agriculture: Every new technique or discovery by Monsanto or another research company
  • Computer science: All algorithms that end up in software patents, regardless of any merit
  • Law: Any legislation favoring public welfare over personal freedom
  • Political science: Anything supporting confidential diplomacy
  • Cryptoanalysis: Anything compromising confidential discussions
  • Military science: Everything that goes boom
  • Chemistry: Everything that doesn't go boom

...and many more fields I don't have time to list. The Slashdot hivemind loves to find the downside to every advancement in every field, and thanks to the excessive hyperbole, any attempt at discussing reasonable compromises is cast as sympathizing with the enemy. As noted, there's even a few diametrically-opposed biases, where we really just seem to want awesome technology to exist, but never be used. We're a terribly fickle bunch.

Re:I can't wait (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43648169)

Agriculture: Every new technique or discovery by Monsanto or another research company

GMO yes, but that's biotech, which is my point.

Computer science: All algorithms that end up in software patents, regardless of any merit. Law: Any legislation favoring public welfare over personal freedom Political science: Anything supporting confidential diplomacy Cryptoanalysis: Anything compromising confidential discussions

The opposition to those is not based fear of a sci-fi nightmare. Though I would watch the hell out of a dystopian future where there is nothing but lawyers suing each other, with the winners eating the losers. Kind of like highlander, only with briefcases instead of swords.

I digress. What I object to is not people having knee-jerk reactions in general, since everyone has some of those. I'm objecting to the fear slashdot has for biotech.

Military science: Everything that goes boom

I disagree with you, I never see that. Military toys are quite fascinating to nerds obviously.

junk science not limited to one ideology (1)

peter303 (12292) | about a year ago | (#43653481)

Everyone bashes conservatives on science ignorance or bias. As you pointed out the libertarian slashdoters have their version of junk science. Whenever I post a list of leftist junk science I get bashed too. All parties need to be more open minded and enlightened.

Re:I can't wait (1)

foobsr (693224) | about a year ago | (#43647841)

we'd have to be dumb enough to allow discrimination based on genetics

Indeed, now that we have overcome discrimination based on skin colour or nationality for centuries.
nature vs nurture
On a side note, history shows that fascists lean to the "nature" side. Given the lack of states that develop fascist attitudes, we are definitely on the safe side here.
But given the patriot act and other current events, I'd say we can create a dystopian future for ourselves even if we stopped all scientific progress.
That is a problem of values and control, not science.
a billion times more likely to save your life ...
A strong hypothesis, well.

CC.

Re:I can't wait (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about a year ago | (#43647907)

Deep down inside, we all know the robots would be stopped by the first flight of stairs they run into (or whatever the technological limit of the day is). A general purpose robot that can compete on the battlefield better than a human infantryman is still a long ways off (thought always getting closer). The same goes for most other sci-fi dystopias, we're just not there yet with the possible exception of nuclear weapons (which gets used in dystopic sci-fy constantly, especially the more mass market ones).

Biology, on the other hand, has already given us lots of examples of dystopia. The black death killed who knows how many people. The last really serious flu outbreak killed millions. And lets not forget the smallpox, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella outbreaks that were essentially the apocalypse for an entire continent's population. We fear biology because biology is one of the few sciences to give us real reason to fear.

Oh, and as for the social fears, lets not forget racism, elitism, wealth inequality, the dismal state of the US healthcare system, and the erosion of civil protections in favor of corporate interests. All of which go a good deal further to explain why we worry about the social effects of biology more than we worry about the social effects of the latest graphics cards to hit the market.

Re:I can't wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43647939)

For a self-proclaimed anti-luddite, you sure like abusing the word "billion." Granted, estimating the probability of an outlier is a very hard problem....

Re:Tell me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43648095)

If you could splice genes into people to "improve" them could you not do it, not even once? If you could find out what genetic defects, what dispositions to diseases, what aptitudes or weaknesses they had, could you say, nay, I don't need to know that, or would you need to know. What would you< do with that information once you had it.

Define: Defect (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about a year ago | (#43652149)

the problem is how do you define "defect"??

I could see kids getting "edited" to correct things like excessive intelligence or self will (can't have a 95% person smarter than a 5% person or be able to get "uppity" )

Plus its been proven that if you select for %trait% and don't balance things out the person tends to be somewhat NUTS.

Re:I can't wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43648143)

For example, we'd have to be dumb enough to allow discrimination based on genetics

Do you have the slightest idea how the human genome project got started in the first place? Have you the slightest inkling what insurance companies will try to do to the country's legislation when it becomes convenient to determine who has genetic markers that indicate health risks they might have to pay for? No, you don't. Hypocritical Luddites? Coming from a fucking moron like yourself that doesn't mean much.

Re:I can't wait (1)

Ellie K (1804464) | about a year ago | (#43648231)

... [on Slashdot] we love technology and advances EXCEPT WHEN IT COMES TO BIOLOGY. Then it's nothing but "whatcouldpossiblygowrong" ... Yes, technology has downsides and dangers. All technology does. Always. Yes, you need to be aware of it...

It annoys me too, the fear reaction to some technology but not others. I don't know anything about biotechnology, but I worked as a statistician for a public health department, focusing on infectious AND non-infectious diseases. Yes, I realize that there are risks if one is sloppy. I also know that in biotech there are decent controls in place, which are observed by researchers to protect themselves as much as others.

Only a guess: More Slashdot readers are familiar with computing and engineering (of the non-biotech variety) than biology. Computing and consumer tech products are fun and friendly. Even after excluding network or personal computing security, there are big issues to fear from technology (not biotech). Privacy concerns, data mining and aggregation (think of CISPA or whatever the latest legislation acronym is), subtle societal effects that are difficult to anticipate, even physical harm due to non-ionizing radiation that we aren't aware of. Some of that is plausible, now, though a lot isn't. But everybody is excited, happy about Google Glass, Pebble and wearable electronics... at first.

Re:I can't wait (1)

Cyberax (705495) | about a year ago | (#43648797)

Hey, you can always buy some of our stuff: http://www.illumina.com/technology/moleculo-technology.ilmn [illumina.com] - 10kb fragments with Q50 accuracy should be enough for everyone!

Re:I can't wait (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43653695)

Isn't that a lot more expensive than the evidently vaporware USB sequencing was supposed to be?

Re:I can't wait (1)

Cyberax (705495) | about a year ago | (#43654579)

Definitely. We're using Illumina sequencing with our preparation on top of it. The upside is that our technology really works right now :)

Re:I can't wait (1)

WaywardGeek (1480513) | about a year ago | (#43650027)

I am currently forced into the position of doing my own genetics study on my own family. I would give good money to have me and three family members' genomes sequenced quickly and accurately. I am tracking the much hyped progress of nano-pore technology, which may eventually make such sequencing possible, but for now, it's a freaking miracle that I can get an exome sequenced for $650 (at Axeq). If you had much of a clue, you'd realize that this article is simply about extracting a DNA sample from blood or saliva, and not about actual gene sequencing. I will get our family's 4 samples of blood processed into extracted DNA for about $400 total. Now, this article is exciting tech. It means maybe no needles will be required in the future. However, it doesn't do one freaking thing to make the hard part - actual genome sequencing - any simpler, faster, or cheaper.

Re:I can't wait (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43650627)

For example, we'd have to be dumb enough...

DONE

Re:I can't wait (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43651525)

The problem is that once DNA sequencing becomes extremely cheap and quick there is little you can do to regulate it. It might be illegal to discriminate against people because of genetic predisposition to certain diseases, but when you go for a job interview how would you ever know they didn't pick up a strand of hair and test it afterwards?

Celebrities will have no privacy what so ever and won't be able to hide anything that their DNA can reveal about them. Paternity, diseases, interesting genes that gossip rags think make you fat/bald/infertile etc.

If the police had a device that could do quick DNA sequencing at a crime scene to less than forensic
standards but still good enough to go rounding up suspects do you think they wouldn't want to use it?

Privacy is going away. Privately owned CCTV, Google Glass, spying by advertisers. This story has little to do with biology.

other tech can't replicate yet (1)

m.shenhav (948505) | about a year ago | (#43652223)

The main problem with your argument is - the only technology that can replicate itself these days is biotech. This and the incredibly low (and exponentially dropping) prices of this technology are the real reasons we must be far more cautious with biotechnology than other technologies. Sooner will a nutjob create a superbug in a garage lab than he would create skynet.

Re:I can't wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43656269)

we'd have to be dumb enough to allow discrimination based on genetics

Really? You understand that a person's skin color and gender are genetically determined, correct? How often are kids with Downs Syndrome are ridiculed because they're different? I hate to pop you're little bubble, but look around; humanity is virtually defined by discriminating based on genetics and attempts to rise above that.

pop

Re:I can't wait (1)

ozduo (2043408) | about a year ago | (#43647695)

I'm already learning how to pee left handed, but writing my name in the snow eludes me!!!

For when... (1)

scottimus (1954836) | about a year ago | (#43647167)

...you gotta sequence a lot of DNA RIGHT NOW! In all seriousness though, this is pretty neat. Not every step in technology has to be earth shattering.

Re:For when... (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#43647433)

You'd be surprised how big a deal quick whole genome sequencing is. Instead of asking "is this gene dysregulated in this syndrome" and iterating hundreds or thousands of times, we can directly ask "which genes are dysregulated in this syndrome".

Re:For when... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43647463)

Guy comes into an ER unconscious. Has a high fever, complained of general aches and pains beforehand. No idea what's going on. I'm sure there's an SOP doctors follow to determine what could be wrong with the guy, I'm not a doctor so I don't know what that is, but I'd wager that whatever it is, this could be really useful for that.

You take a blood sample, you feed it through this machine or something like it. You would be able to identify some problems that may arise from his genome. You could identify if he had any virus or bacteria circulating in his blood and what it was. Maybe you could even do some reverse transcription and sequence that to determine what genes if any were above or below normal. Maybe you find that he has 10,000x the normal amount of a gene that's upregulated during liver stress. Minutes obviously matter in such a situation.

Maybe a bit more realistic in the near future, you have a brain tumor, surgeons open you up, remove the tumor and feed part of it into this machine, and while your head is still open, determine from the genome that it's unlikely to have spread, so they spare you a little more gray matter than they would have otherwise, and likely won't have to drill into your skull a second time.

Re:For when... (2)

OhSoLaMeow (2536022) | about a year ago | (#43647541)

Guy comes into an ER unconscious...

Darn. I was waiting for a good joke.

Re:For when... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43647709)

Guy comes into an ER unconscious, the doctors get a towel.

I... uh... I tried. I'm sorry I disappointed you.

Re:For when... (3, Funny)

OhSoLaMeow (2536022) | about a year ago | (#43648987)

Guy comes into an ER unconscious. When he finally wakes up they ask him what happened.

"I was having a quiet round of golf with my wife," he tells the doctor, "when she sliced her ball into a pasture of cows. We went to look for it, and I noticed one of the cows had something white in its rear end. I walked over and lifted up the tail, and sure enough, there was my wife's golf ball stuck right in the cow's butt. That's when I made my mistake."

"What did you do?" asks the doctor.

"Well, as I was standing there holding up the tail, I yelled to my wife, 'Hey, this looks like yours!'"

Re:For when... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43648639)

When he wakes up he says 'Heinekens make my bunghole hurt' did I mention it was SF general's ER. Damn I hate it when I screw up a joke like that.

Re:For when... (1)

kaliann (1316559) | about a year ago | (#43647923)

This doesn't sequence the genome or expand it. It just collects the DNA from the sample.
Real-time sequencing is what you are talking about, and that's still a long way off.

The gizmo is very cool, it takes a step that is the better part of an hour in the lab (depending on how many samples at a time you are running, and what the samples are) to something that is minutes, but it doesn't make the sequencing faster.

The most useful thing about it is that it is automated and potentially point-of-care. This means that instead of shipping bio-hazardous fluids or tissues all over the place, you can ship the extracted DNA (probably frozen or freeze dried).

Re:For when... (1)

ewieling (90662) | about a year ago | (#43648177)

Many diseases such as Parkinsons, breast cancer, cystic fibrosis are caused by one of several mutations, some of which already have medication available to treat. Some people have mutations which make some medications cause major side effects. Fast sequencing would eliminate much trial and error in treatment of many conditions.

How will this effect cost and privacy (1)

detain (687995) | about a year ago | (#43647195)

I can see this drastically reducing the cost of getting your DNA sequenced, and at the same time I can see police starting to take it anytime they would take fingerprints.

For disease testing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43647199)

... sequence the bacteria or virus DNA, not (usually) the human DNA.

yknow what this means? (1)

nopainogain (1091795) | about a year ago | (#43647205)

This means, creating an episode of Maury just became cheaper and faster.

Re:yknow what this means? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43647379)

I'm just going to wait for cloning, to get a real live version of South Park.

You know what for.

Human DNA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43647289)

One of the huge advantages of sequencing DNA from blood draws is that, assuming it was done properly, the collection was sterile and thus any DNA you find and subsequently amplify with PCR was human.

Of course, people tend not to like blood draws as much as cheek swabs.

The big question I have about this tech is: does it preferentially isolate human DNA? There are a LOT (capitals justified) of bacteria around, particularly near orifices but coating every non-sterilized surface. Without that, it's much less useful than it seems.

I'm waiting for it to come in seconds... (1)

AtomicSymphonic (2570041) | about a year ago | (#43647345)

This would be the ultimate goal in Identity Verification... And then we find ourselves being cloned...

Re:I'm waiting for it to come in seconds... (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43647391)

Hey, I just bought this new Canon A4 scanner, let's print something!

Re:I'm waiting for it to come in seconds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43647471)

Yeah, but CUPS never works and Linux sucks with printing drivers so what gets printed is a crumpled piece of pap^W^Werson with ink blobs on it

Re:I'm waiting for it to come in seconds... (1)

subanark (937286) | about a year ago | (#43647961)

So? Finger printing does a pretty good job as it is. And why anyone would want to clone me is beyond my understanding. Not that I would care much; who I am is far more dependent on environment than my genetic makeup.

Paternity tests for all! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43647353)

Awesome, soon we'll be able to have a paternity test included by default for every birth.

Re:Paternity tests for all! (0)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year ago | (#43647491)

No, no, no, absolutely not. Paternity testing without the mother's consent is rightly illegal in most of the world's civilized countries [ibdna.com] . The power differential is already skewed in men's direction without this extra weapon. Fatherhood is determined by society not by biology.

Re:Paternity tests for all! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43647647)

> The power differential is already skewed in men's direction without this extra weapon.

Are you serious? Women know for certain their children are theirs, men do not. Women can choose to abort their children, men can not. How exactly is the power differential skewed towards men? I don't see why men don't have the right to the same certainty that is already enjoyed by all women. If there are some issues related to reproduction that somehow unfairly favour men, perhaps you should be trying to fix those issues rather than upholding a different injustice just to keep things "even".

Re:Paternity tests for all! (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year ago | (#43647827)

Biological father means nothing. Fatherhood is determined by sociology, not biology. Keep repeating this until it gets into your tiny brain. Who the hell cares that a child's socially acknowledged father is not biological? Nobody that matters!

Re:Paternity tests for all! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43647899)

> Biological father means nothing. Fatherhood is determined by sociology, not biology. Keep repeating this until it gets into your tiny brain. Who the hell cares that a child's socially acknowledged father is not biological? Nobody that matters!

If biological fatherhood means nothing, why are you so scared of the tests? Make them legal. After all, they mean nothing, so there is no reason to ban them, is there?

Re:Paternity tests for all! (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year ago | (#43647999)

It contributes to the preservation of peace within families. All paternity testing does is cause disputes. A biological father has nothing to do with a real father. He's just a sperm donor, nothing more. Fatherhood is determined by society, not DNA.

Re:Paternity tests for all! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43648131)

> It contributes to the preservation of peace within families.
And yet (contradicting your earlier assertion) it is legal in most of the world, and hasn't resulted in societal collapse. Perhaps you are suggesting cheating (without any birth control/protection!) is extremely prevalent under French women, compared to the rest of the world, and that is why France has to maintain this ban to 'preserve the peace within families'?

> All paternity testing does is cause disputes.
It either brings peace of mind, or rightfully reveals a women as a liar and a cheater. I fail to see what is wrong with either. As they say, trust, but verify.

> Fatherhood is determined by society, not DNA.
Keep repeating that, you may even start to believe it eventually! Regardless, even if *YOU* think that way, you have no right to take away options from men who do think biological fatherhood is important.

Re:Paternity tests for all! (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about a year ago | (#43648413)

All paternity testing does is cause disputes.

No, what causes disputes is a woman who sleeps with so many men that she cannot identify the father, or who sleeps with someone else and tries to trick a man into marrying her to take care of the child that the real father won't. Paternity tests only uncover the original unethical acts, it is not an unethical act in and of itself. It is those unethical acts that cause the disputes.

A biological father has nothing to do with a real father.

A biological father is a real father. It has nothing to do with "father figure" or "parenting", however.

Fatherhood is determined by society, not DNA.

You keep saying this, but that doesn't make it true. Biological fatherhood is determined by DNA. Parental rights are determined by society.

Paternity testing allows determination of true family medical history and genetic lineages for susceptibility to certain diseases. Paternity testing allows legal determinations of fatherhood for purposes of inheritance and child support. Paternity testing allows determination of common ancestry involved in marriage prohibitions (e.g., brother/sister).

Re:Paternity tests for all! (1)

kaliann (1316559) | about a year ago | (#43649089)

No, what causes disputes is a woman who sleeps with so many men that she cannot identify the father, or who sleeps with someone else and tries to trick a man into marrying her to take care of the child that the real father won't. Paternity tests only uncover the original unethical acts, it is not an unethical act in and of itself. It is those unethical acts that cause the disputes.

1. There is nothing specifically unethical in having multiple partners, as long as one discloses disease risks and there is not a presumption of monogamy.
2. Either biological parent may be interested in the results of a paternity test:
                  a) A man and woman may both know that there was more than one man with the woman, and all three (woman and at least 2 men) would have an interest in the outcome.
                  b) The female may wish to prove a man is involved when he denies a sexual relationship or claims contraceptive methods were adequate ("Can't be me, I wore a condom."). Also, a woman who bears a child from rape is still entitled to support even if the man is not convicted. This requires a paternity test.
                  c) A man may accuse a woman of having multiple partners and thus request a paternity test to attempt to show that he is not the father, proving her involvement with another man. Alternatively, a man may wish to prove that he is the father in a case when another man was involved with the woman near the time of conception, so as to prevent his child being raised by someone else.

Re:Paternity tests for all! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43649137)

> There is nothing specifically unethical in having multiple partners, as long as one discloses disease risks and there is not a presumption of monogamy.

It's quite clear that was not the scenario that Obfuscant was referring to.

Re:Paternity tests for all! (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | about a year ago | (#43649761)

So, other than claiming that promiscuity is a virtue, you're basically repeating the same things I said only in more words. Everything you said under (2) is basically what I said in one sentence: paternity tests allow determination of fatherhood for purposes of inheritance or child support.

Re:Paternity tests for all! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43651253)

Fornication outside of marriage is a sin! Do you want to go to hell?

Re:Paternity tests for all! (1)

dbraden (214956) | about a year ago | (#43647685)

No, no, no, absolutely not. Paternity testing without the mother's consent is rightly illegal in most of the world's civilized countries [ibdna.com] .

I had never heard that. I followed the link to find out more, it the info there says it's banned in France, but legal in the U.S., U.K, and Germany. A small sample of "civilized countries," but still, 1 out of 4 doesn't sound like "most" have banned it.

Re:Paternity tests for all! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43647919)

Yet paternity tests do not require the consent of the possible father.

So much for equality. It really is no wonder that some men break and run at the first sign of a pregnancy when they are effectively enslaved to whomever claims they are a father with no recourse of verification.

implications (1)

Pharoah_69 (2866937) | about a year ago | (#43647399)

I got a feeling that the implications that result from this will be worse than what that great movie, GATTACA, projected it might be. De-gene-rates, indeed. Although, to be honest, this has all be happening silently for a long time so...all women are experts in genetics. As I know, there is only one way to defend from all this.

I call bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43647489)

More FUDDY FUDDY FUD for the stock pumping, what else is new? Instant DNA sequencing is like "quantum computing", which keeps getting "invented" over and over and over again. What a joke. Queue the scam defenders in 3...2...1.... (gotta keep up the hoax, or else they have to find REAL work!)

Re:I call bullshit (1)

tgd (2822) | about a year ago | (#43647903)

More FUDDY FUDDY FUD for the stock pumping, what else is new? Instant DNA sequencing is like "quantum computing", which keeps getting "invented" over and over and over again. What a joke. Queue the scam defenders in 3...2...1.... (gotta keep up the hoax, or else they have to find REAL work!)

Its not bullshit, you just can't read.

Its fast DNA separation, not fast DNA sequencing. You need to get good samples of just the DNA to do sequencing, and that's what they're claiming they can do.

The only thing that might help "instantly" is the chip-based gene tests, not full sequencing (of which the DNA extraction isn't a particularly time consuming part.)

Just to be clear: sequencing is still slow (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43647535)

Some people are missing the point here, so for emphasis: this product only prepares DNA for sequencing, it doesn't do the sequencing itself. Half an hour of preparation is reduced to minutes, but the actual work still takes days.

Sequencing is a lot faster than it used to be (1)

realxmp (518717) | about a year ago | (#43648845)

Some people are missing the point here, so for emphasis: this product only prepares DNA for sequencing, it doesn't do the sequencing itself. Half an hour of preparation is reduced to minutes, but the actual work still takes days.

It used to take days, and still does if funding is short but an Illumina HiSeq 2500 can produce 150-180 Gbases in 40 hours in rapid run mode [1]. Most labs still run it in high output mode because of the reagent cost but the option is there. This means that if I was prepared to pay the extra and I sent a sample into "core sequencing" where I work, they could potentially return mapped DNA in a week. After that there's still some improvement tools we'd need to run to clean up artefacts, followed by calling and filtering variants, those bits can take weeks. Whilst it is true that the bottleneck is currently the physical sequencing process of things but pretty soon that is going to shift to the informatics.side.

[1] http://www.illumina.com/systems/hiseq_2500_1500/performance_specifications.ilmn [illumina.com]

Previous art excists (1)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#43647597)

extract human DNA from fluid samples in a simpler, more efficient and environmentally friendly way

This will be serious competition for these guys [fleshlight...ational.eu]

Fun with Science (1)

rockmuelle (575982) | about a year ago | (#43647625)

You can also do it in minutes with common household items: http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/labs/extraction/howto/ [utah.edu]

Extraction's not the problem. Sequencing is not actually a problem, either (~$150k gets you an ION Torrent Proton that will come close to sequencing a person in a few hours). Data analysis is currently the hardest and costliest part of sequencing. Of course, that's getting better, too.

Don't get me wrong, incremental process improvements such as this are important, they're just not groundbreaking anymore.

-Chris

Re:Fun with Science (1)

Nrrqshrr (1879148) | about a year ago | (#43648619)

This.
As much as I love the idea of having DNA samples to play around with on the fly, I actually thought it was more in the lines of a device capable of sequencing the DNA quickly.
Imagine the potential of a handheld sequencing device... can't wait to clutter the databases with more sequences.

genetic sequencing in science fair projects (1)

peter303 (12292) | about a year ago | (#43653517)

I see more and more of that. Right now fairly simple things are done. But with cheap sequencing and all the genetic unknowns out there I would not be surprised by some significant science fair discoveries.

Re:Fun with Science (1)

jfengel (409917) | about a year ago | (#43656253)

Yeah, that's always the peril of science reporting. Everyone wants The Big One (flying cars, fusion, cheap fast sequencing) but all we get is the dull daily grind of scientific and technological process.

So each incremental bit is magnified, first by the university's PR department and then again by the popular press, trying to attract attention (and with it, more funding). I empathize with the desire to feed the gaping maw of people craving the future (the same maw that began caring more about the 2016 Presidential than about the term that had just begun), but in science it's got a downside: people are desensitized to the real value of the work.

For this article, one needs to do nothing more than hover over the link, whose ".edu" URL clearly points to a press release rather than a journal article. One would love to believe that a site "for nerds" would think better of its readers, but sadly they too have an insatiable demand for eyeballs and want Big News every day to bring them in.

Analysis of Content-Free PR Blurb (3, Informative)

Guppy (12314) | about a year ago | (#43647995)

W engineers designed microscopic probes that dip into a fluid sample – saliva, sputum or blood – and apply an electric field within the liquid. That draws particles to concentrate around the surface of the tiny probe. Larger particles hit the tip and swerve away, but DNA-sized molecules stick to the probe and are trapped on the surface.

I read through the entire article link, and didn't learn a whole lot about how it actually performs. The above paragraph was the only technical information included. From what I can see, neither really tests performance against really challenging samples with a lot of crud or difficult-to-extract material. We only have the PR blurb's claim that it's better than a typical Miniprep column.

Found a couple of papers that might be more relevant:
Size-Specific Concentration of DNA to a Nanostructured Tip Using Dielectrophoresis and Capillary Action [acs.org] (Has downloadable PDF)
Nanotips for single-step preparation of DNA for qPCR analysis [rsc.org] (Paywall)

Ok, from the first paper, we find out what this is really for:

Extracellular DNA is of great interest in the fields of disease diagnostics and environmental molecular biology. Unlike the genomic DNA in normal cells, extracellular DNA is the free DNA released from dead cells. Thus, extracellular DNA circulating in body fluids can be used as an early indicator for various acute diseases such as cancer. For example, the concentration of extracellular DNA for a normal person is 30ng/mL, but the concentration is increased to 300 ng/mL for a cancer patient. When the issue comes to environmental monitoring, extracellular DNA dissolved in lakes and soil is an indicator for environmental quality because the dissolved DNA is generated from cell lysis and excretion. In spite of such a great potential, the study of extracellular DNA is limited by the standard sample preparation methods.

The conventional methods begin with filtering, centrifuging, and collecting DNA from a raw sample. In aggressive experimental protocols, genomic DNA from normal cells is released and mixed with extracellular DNA. In addition, a few hours is required for the sample preparation process, which can degrade and mutate extracellular DNA.6 As a result, the original information of extracellular DNA is partially or completely lost. Therefore, a rapid process that can concentrate extracellular DNA is very important for identifying pathogenic information. This paper presents a size-specific concentration mechanism directly extracting extracellular DNA from a sample mixture using a nanostructured tip. The concentration process is performed with two sequences: (1) an alternating current (AC) electric field is applied to attract DNA and other bioparticles in the vicinity of a nanotip; (2) only the DNA is size-selectively captured onto the nanotip by the combination of dielectrophoresis and capillary action. In the analytical section, the forces involved in the concentration are estimated to investigate the capturing process. An analytical model is presented for capillary induced size-selectivity that is described as the function of the ratio of a particle to a tip diameter.

Basically, this is a special purpose method for concentrating extra-cellular DNA while leaving whole cell material intact. It's not meant to compete against a Miniprep, but analyze a whole different type of sample material; you are trying to fish out what genetic material is already floating around outside of your cells. Really a niche kind of research thing, I don't know if this will make a whole lot of impact, either practically, academically, or economically.

Re:Analysis of Content-Free PR Blurb (1)

kaliann (1316559) | about a year ago | (#43649109)

Thank you for clarifying, it's even less generally useful than I'd thought. Niche research indeed!

Re:Analysis of Content-Free PR Blurb (1)

Guppy (12314) | about a year ago | (#43660471)

it's even less generally useful than I'd thought.

Same goes for the Slashdot story posting. The Slashdot summary and only linked article is useless to anyone who actually works with genetics and sequencing. As for the linked article, the more you know about the words being smashed together, the less sense it makes (the very definition of technobabble). It's a content-free wad of marketing promises.

There were some 80+ replies to this story by last night, and NOT ONE of them discussed anything specific to the actual device or technology featured in the story (so of course, that's why I had to do it :).

Samzenpus might as well have posted some bullshit that said something like "Genetic synergy innovates best-of-breed paradigm shift in DNA extraction for a win-win GATTACA future.. Discuss!". And, we would have probably gotten comments of approximately equal value in response, compared to what we're seeing here.

Phage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43648609)

Well, I see we're preparing ourselves for the PHAGE (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Phage)

ludicrous nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43649673)

what is it about biotech that causes, even for slashdot, any lack of critical thinking
The use of electric field to purify DNA has a long history - i think the first commercial company that did bio sample to pure dna was McConnell research, who focus on plasmids

Even assuming this works, and (as nanogen found) the toxic chemicals produced at the electrodes don't damge the dna, everyone
*already knows*
that isolating hte DNA is the easy part - there is a long, complex process to get teh dna ready for sequencing, eg emulsion pcr in the ion torrent, or solid phase bridge amplification; this process often includes random shearing, size selection, adaptor ligation etc

Home paternity test (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43653429)

Expect serious pushback against home paternity tests from Women's groups, as it becomes evident that a large number of men are raising children that are not their own (biologically).

can you say (1)

chris.evans (969548) | about a year ago | (#43655077)

full dna scanning and forced disclosure of your dna traits. The government and private corps can now scan you for undesirable traits

6 years (1)

Aaron Barlow (2836495) | about a year ago | (#43664457)

I give it 6 years. Then we will have a complete scanner. Another year or two after that and it will be included in the handheld-bio-metric-scanner-device-thingy.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...