For the first time ever, DNA was successfully sequenced in microgravity as part of the Biomolecule Sequencer experiment performed by NASA aboard the International Space Station. The ability to sequence the DNA of living organisms in space is a game changer and it opens a whole new world of scientific and medical possibilities.
NASA today published this news along with couple of images from the ISS. As you can see from the image above, Microsoft Surface Pro 3 device is being used in the Space Station by astronauts.
For DNA sequencing, they used commercially available DNA sequencing device called MinION, developed by Oxford Nanopore Technologies. The portable MinION device works with consumable flow cells that contain the proprietary nanopore sensing apparatus required to perform experiments. The MinION plugs into a PC or laptop using a USB and no additional computing infrastructure is needed for DNA sequencing.
As you all know, Surface Pro 3 device comes with a full-size USB 3.0 port which makes it the ideal choice of device for performing these kind of ground breaking experiments by astronauts in the space.