The Darling of AGBT: HMW DNA

The Sage Science team had a blast at this year’s AGBT conference in Hollywood, Fla. We thoroughly enjoyed the parties, the beach, and especially the excellent talks. We’d like to thank all of the attendees who made their way to our suite to check out the SageHLS instrument for extracting and purifying high molecular weight (HMW) DNA, which is now commercially available.

Following a trend that’s been gaining ground in the last few years, many AGBT talks and posters focused on technologies that require HMW DNA. There was lots of data from users of Oxford Nanopore and PacBio sequencers, long-range methods such as 10x Genomics, and scaffolding tools like Bionano Genomics or Dovetail Genomics. All of these platforms need much longer DNA than scientists ever had to produce for short-read sequencers, kicking off a new era of enhanced sample prep for working with incredibly large genetic fragments.

That’s why we developed the new SageHLS platform, which can extract DNA as long as 2 Mb directly from a sample. Chris Mason from Weill Cornell, whose lab worked with a beta version of the new instrument, gave a presentation at AGBT and spoke about his experience with it. (For the record, we would have loved his fast-paced, entertaining talk about sequencing in space even without the SageHLS shout-out.) Mason used the instrument with the CATCH method — that’s short for Cas9-assisted targeting of chromosome segments, from this Nature Communications paper — and said the approach will be important for things like measuring telomere length with great accuracy.

For more information, check out our AGBT poster with results from the SageHLS instrument.

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