We are getting closer to a world where techniques that are currently confined to laboratories are going to appear in everyday places and situations. I have been fascinated by the potential of doing molecular biology “in the field” for several years now, but felt that the available technologies were not quite up to the job. That was until I bumped into the guys from OptiGene at the Biotechnica in the Autumn of 2013. They have developed two amazing, battery-powered – thus portable – instruments to allow amplification and real-time detection of target DNA on-site – the Genie® II and Genie® III instruments. The DNA amplification method is one that many researchers are not familiar with: loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP). LAMP has proven to be a pretty robust technique and generates a lot of signal from the test sample. If you add that to a portable instrument that can both generate and measure the DNA amplification in real-time, you end up with a pretty powerful tool for doing on-site molecular diagnostics.
In short, it is now possible to do specific molecular testing in the middle of a field, in a forest, up a mountain, on an ice sheet, on a farm, in your kitchen or your garden, in a factory, on the train, in a restaurant…anywhere!
Please check out Optigene’s website and also Steve Millington’s YouTube channel to learn more about the capabilities of LAMP and their Genie instruments. OptiGene have also kindly agreed to let me share a recently designed presentation with you: access by clicking the picture on the right, or the link below. Please get in touch with me if you have any questions.