The artifact is neither sexy nor delicate, as Mallory Warner will tell you. Warner, who works in the division of medicine and science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, helps to curate a large archive of items that have, in some way, changed the course of science. She points to a DNA analyzer used by scientists in the Human Genome Project (the landmark effort that yielded the first complete blueprint of a human’s genetic material) and a photograph film from a 1970s attempt to build a synthetic insulin gene. Many of the pieces related to genetic research, she says, are “hulking, refrigerator-size scientific things.”
The Roche 454 GS FLX + DNA gene sequencer, which was produced from 2005 to 2015, is actually a bit shorter than a refrigerator: it weighs more than 500 pounds, according to official product specifications. The Roche machine is also unique: it was the first next-generation gene sequencer to be sold commercially. It used a then-new technology known as sequencing-by-synthesis to tease apart the sequence of bases that comprise genetic code.
Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here: adafruit.com/editorialstandards
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.