The Go-To Gene Sequencing Machine with Very Strange Results
April 21, 2017
(Wired) – To find his unicorn, Sinha would have to dig deeper, into the proteins that would eventually define the cells. That would require him to sequence the RNA of thousands of seemingly identical stem cells from a collection Weissman had built. And like most geneticists working today, the machine he turned to was from Illumina: the San Diego-based company whose products sequence 90 percent of all genetic data. But instead of a true stem cell, Sinha stumbled onto something very different. Inconsistent results led him to identify an issue with the underlying operations of Illumina’s newer sequencers—an issue that could have contaminated the results of similar high-sensitivity data produced on the machines in the last two years.