The Sage Science team is heading to Vancouver this week for the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics. ASHG is the biggest genomics meeting we attend each year, and it never fails to deliver on its promise of top-notch science and compelling speakers.
We’re especially enthusiastic about this meeting because it’ll be the first time we show off our newest instrument, the HLS platform, in booth #732. Though this is just a sneak peek as development continues, we anticipate launching the instrument soon and thought ASHG attendees would enjoy getting a glimpse.
The HLS platform (short for HMW Library System) will allow scientists to purify ultra high molecular weight DNA directly from cells for the increasing number of applications that require it, such as long-read sequencing or long-range genomics. Working with large DNA fragments has become a lost art in the era of short-read sequencing. But with the rise of PacBio and Oxford Nanopore sequencers, 10x Genomics synthetic long reads, and optical maps from BioNano Genomics and other providers, it’s clear that users need a solution for handling DNA that’s hundreds of kilobases or even megabases long.
We built the HLS instrument to address this need. At launch, it will be able to purify DNA from about 50 Kb to 2 Mb in length, directly from blood samples, cell lines, or bacterial cultures. In our hands, the elutions yield more than a microgram — plenty of DNA for de novo genome sequencing, droplet digital PCR, and other long-range genomics applications. Initially, users will perform purification on the HLS instrument followed by traditional library prep, but in the future we aim to incorporate library prep directly into the system. We’re also already working on targeted genomic fragment extraction using CRISPR/Cas9 as a later-stage application for the HLS instrument.