Sequencing inside cells

By Jennifer Michalowski

By bringing DNA sequencing out of the sequencer and directly to cells, MIT scientists have revealed an entirely new view of the genome. With a new method for in situ genome sequencing reported December 31, 2020, in the journal Science, researchers can, for the first time, see exactly how DNA sequences are organized and packed inside cells.

The approach, whose development was led by Ed Boyden, the Y. Eva Tan Professor in Neurotechnology at MIT, and Harvard University Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology faculty members Jason Buenrostro and Fei Chen, integrates DNA sequencing technology with microscopy to pinpoint exactly where specific DNA sequences are located inside intact cells.

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