Illumina is widely regarded as the giant of NGS, with an estimated 80 per cent share of the global gene sequencing market. At the heart of Illumina’s nucleic acid sequencing technologies is sequencing-by-synthesis (SBS), a chemistry with a humble and fascinating backstory.
Ideas sparked and the beginnings of SBS were formulated. The next day provided ‘the acid test’, as described by Balasubramanian: the move from beer garden to lab benchside.
Of course, this is not the first – or likely the last – significant idea to have been born in one of Cambridge’s pubs. Some 44 years earlier, James Watson and Francis Crick of Cambridge’s Cavendish Lab burst through The Eagle’s pubs doors to proclaim to have “discovered the secret of life”. They were, of course, talking about their resolution of the three-dimensional structure of DNA.