A Cornell University-led team has sequenced and started analyzing the genome of the domestic house fly, Musca domestica, in the hopes of detecting genetic clues for dealing with the pest and pathogens it carries. The team put together — and annotated — a 691 million base assembly that spans more than three-quarters of the fly's complete genome sequence and contains an estimated 14,810 protein-coding genes. Relative to the fruit fly, the house fly genome contained far more repetitive sequence elements and copy number variants, they noted.
Becton Dickinson has acquired Irish sample prep automation firm GenCell Biosystems, marking BD's entry into the next-generation sequencing market. GenCell has developed a proprietary microdroplet reaction technology called Composite Liquid Cell (CLC). One of its first applications is an automated library preparation platform for next-generation sequencing, called CLiC LP, that promises lower running costs than other methods. GenCell was planning to start shipping the instrument this summer.
The National Institutes of Health awarded $29 million in fiscal 2014 to expand the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network. RDCRN is led by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, and as part of the 2014 funding, six new consortia were established, including the Rare Lung Diseases Consortium: Molecular Pathway-Driven Diagnostics and Therapeutics for Rare Lung Diseases, and a consortium called Developmental Synaptopathies Associated with TSC, PTEN, and SHANK3 Mutations.