Sequencing DNA with Linux Cores and Nanopores
The Oxford Nanopore MinION is a small stapler-sized device that is quietly disrupting the way that the world looks at the world. Despite what TV shows will tell you, deoxyribose nucleic acid (DNA) is not a bunch of letters on a computer screen. Those letters represent a physical thing: long, stringy whiteish stuff that frequently has a gel-like consistency and an amazing ability to clump together with itself. The MinION is a DNA sequencer. DNA sequencing is the process of turning the physical thing of DNA into a model of that thing on a computer. Using this pocket-sized device, researchers have been able to sequence DNA in the jungle, at the bottom of the ocean, in Antarctica, and on board the International Space Station. For LCA, the challenge will be to prepare, sequence, and analyse a sample of DNA over the course of single talk, with no external power source (apart from the laptop battery), and using freely available software and DNA sequence databases. LinuxConf attendees will be given access to the DNA sequences produced during the talk, and are free to add their own creative interpretations of long strings of four different letters.