Tiny holes, big rewards | University of Oxford
OSB archive
OSB archive

Tiny holes, big rewards

Pete Wilton

If you were Chancellor of the Exchequer right now you might not think that investing in holes was a good idea but, according to Radio 4's Material World, you'd be wrong.

But of course we aren't talking budgetary holes but rather those tiny holes known as nanopores, specifically those being developed by Hagan Bayley of Oxford's Department of Chemistry.

The programme suggested that Hagan and the spinout he founded in 2005, Oxford Nanopore, represent the kind of ideas the Government should be investing its £750m innovation fund in.

Hagan is working with Oxford Nanopore on a way to detect the four DNA bases using nanopores, research which is tantalisingly close to turning the $1000 human genome into a reality.

Last night Hagan was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Royal Society of Chemistry [RSC] and in the Material World interview [22:50 on iPlayer] he talks about almost two decades of research that led to the award, the process of spinning out a company and how he came to settle on DNA sequencing as the most interesting application of his work.