How the Ion Proton Sequencer Works

Author's Note

I love bragging to my friends about the titles of my assignments for HowStuffWorks. But How the Ion Proton Sequencer works flat-out takes the blue ribbon purely on WTH factor. "You're making that up. Whatever you just said doesn't exist," was probably the best response I heard.

It's subjects like the Proton that makes writing for this site so much fun. The Proton and its peers represent a giant leap in genetic technology. The closest analogy is maybe computers in the late 1970s and '80s. As soon as they became so affordable that average families could own them, suddenly everyone started getting computers. As far as labs are concerned, the Proton is the Apple MacIntosh of genetic technology; compact, easy to use, a revolutionary presence in the market, and it packs an entire lab worth of analytics into a tiny box.

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