Researchers at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm have now set the world record for number of simultaneous DNA sequence analyses: 5,000. Now, we’re not talking about whole-genome sequencing here; they’re just sequencing parts of an individual’s DNA sequence, but it’s impressive nonetheless. From the summary in ScienceDaily:

“Today the great majority of samples are run ten at a time. This yields a cost of SEK 10,000 (USD $1,600) per sample. We have run 5,000 samples at the same time at the same cost, that is, SEK 100,000. This computes to SEK 20 (USD $3) per sample,” says Peter Savolainen.

He points out several areas where his and his colleagues’ new method can have a great impact. One of them is cancer research, where there is a great need to scan numerous cell samples from many individuals. This is to see which cells and genes are involved in the cancer.

“Another field where our method can be of huge importance is in organ transplants. Many DNA analyses are needed to create a database for matching organ donors with transplant recipients. This will be of major importance to DNA research,” says Peter Savolainen.

Pretty cool stuff…