The beauty of the pursuit of knowledge as seen in this 'lab on a chip'

January 5, 2007
The beauty of the pursuit of knowledge as seen in this 'lab on a chip'
Lab on a chip. Credit: Mathies Lab, UC Berkeley

Noting that "the pursuit of knowledge turns up its fair share of beauty," Nature magazine published a portfolio of stunning images produced by scientists during 2006. The image above, created by researchers here at UC Berkeley, was among those showcased.

The photo shows a "lab on a chip" that is designed to sequence large genomes quickly and cost-effectively. Researchers say this work ultimately could provide important medical benefits, allowing preventative and therapeutic care tailored to each patient's genome.

Nature described the image as follows: "Ditch the pipette and do your DNA sequencing at the nanolitre scale with this stylish 100-mm wafer, created by Robert Blazej and his colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, and unveiled in May. Form follows function in a design that could easily be from an album cover or the floor of a nightclub."

The image originally was featured on the cover of the April 28, 2006 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences illustrating a paper authored by Richard A. Mathies with the UC Berkeley Department of Chemistry and the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Palani Kumaresan with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Robert Blazej, who recently earned his Ph.D. with the Joint UCB/UCSF Bioengineering Graduate Group. Their paper was titled "Microfabricated bioprocessor for integrated nanoliter-scale Sanger DNA sequencing."

For those with an online subscription to Nature, the full gallery of images they have selected to highlight is online.

Source: UC Berkeley

Explore further: Researcher discusses the self-assembly of materials to make diverse nanoscale patterns

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