Discovering Sequencing with Oxford Nanopore Technologies: Workshop Review

At the beginning of April, from the 9th to the 11th, we once again hosted our popular workshop on sequencing using the technology from the company Oxford Nanopore Technologies (ONT). This workshop was aimed at scientists who wanted to try out this innovative sequencing technology in their own laboratories and benefit from our experience. Our research group has been successfully using this sequencing technology for several years, allowing us to provide a well-founded introduction to the basics. The workshop took place in our facilities at the JenTower, providing a modern and conducive environment for learning and collaboration.

The organization of the workshop was handled by Emanuel, while the content delivery was managed by our experienced bioinformaticians Jannes and Daria, as well as our lab manager and sequencing expert Winfried, and our lab assistant Rebecca.

Day 1: Theoretical Foundations of ONT Sequencing

The first day was dedicated entirely to theory. Jannes and Daria explained the fundamental principles of the technology to the participants. They elaborated on how this technology works and its advantages. Through their clear explanations, the participants were able to develop a deep understanding of sequencing, which laid the foundation for the practical exercises in the following days.

Day 2: Practical Sequencing in the Lab

On the second day, Winfried took charge of the practical part. As a biochemist, he explained the necessary steps for preparing and conducting sequencing with the technology. Together with Rebecca he demonstrated live in the seminar room the preparation and sequencing of water samples from the Hainich, from which DNA and RNA had previously been extracted. Winfried detailed how the DNA is first repaired and then adapters are attached to the DNA or RNA to create a so-called library. This library is then loaded onto a flow cell to begin the actual sequencing. The participants could observe the sequencing process in real-time and had the opportunity to ask many questions, which were comprehensively answered by Winfried and Rebecca.

Day 3: Bioinformatic Analysis of Sequencing Data

The third and final day of the workshop was dedicated to the bioinformatic analysis of sequencing data. Once again, Jannes and Daria led the session, showing participants how to analyze and interpret the data collected during sequencing. They guided the participants step-by-step through the analysis process and provided valuable tips for evaluating and interpreting the results.

The workshop was a great success. The participants were very interested and gained many new insights. By combining theoretical foundations and practical exercises, we were able to provide the scientists with a comprehensive understanding of sequencing with the technology. We are already looking forward to the next workshop and to sharing our knowledge further.

Photo of workshop participants