What’s it all about?

“Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a molecule that contains the biological instructions that make each species unique.”

National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)

DNA is composed of four types of chemical building block represented by the letters A, C, G and T. Here at Blocksford Brickopore, we took this literally and decided we could represent a DNA molecule with connected Lego bricks chosen from four colours corresponding to the four different DNA nucleotides.

A DNA sequencer “reads” a molecule of DNA to generate the sequence of As, Cs, Gs and Ts that it encodes. In a nanopore sequencer, this is performed by passing a DNA molecule through a tiny hole called a nanopore. As the molecule moves through the pore, a sensor can detect which of the bases (A, C, G or T) is passing through.

Our Brickopore sequencer works in the same way – the Lego bricks are passed through a hole and a sensor detects the colour of each brick as it moves through. The series of colours is then converted to a sequence of letters.