The ABI PRISM 377 involves the use of a thin polyacrylamide gel to separate the DNA molecules. Originally the ABI 377 instrument was designed to run 36 samples in parallel although 64 lane and 96 lane upgrades are now available with the ABI 377XL. STR samples can be separated in runs of 2-3 hours duration. Thus, three runs could be performed per day per instrument, with a potential throughput of about 72 000 lanes of data per year. For many years, high-throughput laboratories, such as Myriad Genetics (Salt Lake City, UT) and the Forensic Science Service (Birmingham, England), have used dozens of ABI 377s to perform their high volume STR typing. However, many laboratories are moving to capillary array systems such as the ABI 3100 in order to avoid having to pour slab gels. In addition, Applied Biosystems will stop supporting the ABI 377 gel-based system in 2006.
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