Get ready for millions of minions! ONT have announced an early-access program for the MinIon (GridION later) and it is almost free to access. I’m sure they will see huge demand from eager NGS users. But who will have projects best suited to the MinION technology and who will be first to publish?
Let’s not forget ONT’s technology promises long-reads, how long is not completely clear but some applications will benefit more than others.
$1,000 buys you a MinION system, free flowcells (to an undisclosed limit), free sample prep and free sequencing reagents. Of course there is no such thing as a free lunch and ONT will require users to sign their End User License Agreement “to allow Oxford Nanopore to further develop the utility of the products, applications and customer support while also maximising scientific benefits for MAP participants”. And the press release does give a lot of hope that ONT don’t want to restrict your right to publish.
“MAP participants will be the first to publish data from their own samples. Oxford Nanopore does not intend to restrict use or dissemination of the biological results obtained by participants using MinIONs to analyse their own samples. Oxford Nanopore is interested in the quality and performance of the MiniION system itself.”
I’ve signed up already!
Update: Some more details came from GenomeWeb a few minutes after I posted. According to their coverage read-lengths may be up to 100kb but the number of pores could be as low as 500. This is exactly the kind of detail we are going to need to determine the best applications to run tests on.