MJ research DNA Sequencer(Basestation)

Jeremy Medalle medallj at mail.rockefeller.edu
Wed Dec 13 09:22:28 EST 2000

Attention DNA Sequencers:

I work at The Rockefeller University in DNA Sequencing Lab of Protein/DNA
Technology Center.  We sequence over 90, 000 samples a year.  Please note
that I am not a MJ research representative/sale.

I would like to hear from other people who are using the Basestation from MJ
research or submitted samples/saw their DEMO for this machine(Basestation).

This machine use slab technology with the ability to run 96 samples from any

Yesterday, I attended their demo by Christopher Abbott, Product Support
Specialist.  I was able to run my own 96 samples (BigDye terminator) from
start to finish on the Basestation(11am-4pm).

The Basestation seems to good to be true for a 96-high-throughput machine.
The software, i.e. Cartographer Analysis, seems user-friendly and screen
size fits in one panel to view gel image, electropherogram data, and list of
sample runs.  

Below are my PROS and CONS for the machine/software.


*** No matrix to run.  However you can make your own if your not satisfied.
*** Changing chemistries(i.e. big dye terminators to primer to other
   chemistry) are easy with a change of a mirror in the Base station.
   If the wrong module is selected in the computer, it can still be
*** 1 ul out 20-35 ul of sample(in formamide) is loaded from our 1:1
   Big Dye reactions.
*** Loading trays can be taking out before the runs starts for repeats
   or a second, third, ..., or twenty sequencing verification.
*** Gel washing for machine setup is nonexistent. (Laser passed through
   the top glass and the excitation is pick up on the same side.)
*** Glass plates are smaller and compact.
*** Gel polymerization takes 5 minutes under UV light with a
   photoinitiator.  No APS, No temed, and No RUSH.
*** Upper/lower buffer chambers are attached to top plate, i.e. no
   buffer leaks and less buffer used.
*** Cooling plate is on the platform.
*** Gel loading of 96 samples is automated(takes about ~25 minute till
   the run starts).
*** Software is easy to learn.  Scroll down cheat sheet included.
*** Software license allows for up to 10 computers in the lab.
*** Phred scores can be given to each sequence and scores are exportable
   to Excel documents.
*** Tracking 96 lanes are fast(1-2 minutes).  You can retract by one
   lane automatically! You can use your mouse to draw the tracking lane!
*** Graphics after gel extraction are great.
*** Electropherogram data can be manipulated to give even peak heights
   using different modules.  They actually make a big difference in
   the appearance and electropherogram data is changed.  Therefore,
   the user see the same appearance.


*** Data files are not in ABI format(Later version will have this
*** Gel display before tracking is only one expanded view.
   It is not a good representation of the data.
*** Trim is all 96 samples and not individually.
*** Staggered loading is not a option but can be done by loading
   even sample first(w/ even sample sheet) and then restarting the
   run to load the odd(w/ odd sample sheet).  In the end, the correct
   sample sheet is re-installed.


*** There is an external heating/cooling system.  I.e. water bath at 40'c.
*** Maintenance looks low.   A H2O bottle and a tray of 10X are the
   only thing to clean after the run.
*** Its seems that there is no text files produced.  Files format
   can be used with any editor.
*** It runs on a PC. It ahs a CD burner.

Kudos to MJ Research, Guoshan Tsen, and Christopher Abbot.

Jeremy Medalle
Lab Coordinator
The Rockefeller University
1240 York Ave
Box 105
NY, NY 10021


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