SANTA CLARA, Calif., Feb. 28 - Celera Genomics used the prospect of a free lunch to entice some 160 conference attendees to learn how to use its annotated human and mouse genomes database and tools.
With the rustling of cookie wrappers and popping soda tabs as background music, Celera scientific applications specialist Graziella Piras Power Pointed through Celera gene-expression applications and flashed a large picture of a mouse to announce the release of the company's third mouse-genome assembly.
Some participants looked on, mouths frozen in mid-chew.
The new product, released at the 2002 Genome Tri-Conference here on Wednesday, adds raw sequence data from the public mouse genome's C57 Black 6 strain while also decreasing the number of scaffolds and increasing the length of segments on Celera's mouse-strain sequences, according to a Celera official.
"We had sequence from three different strains of mice," said Tony Kerlavage, senior director for product strategy at Celera. "You could therefore generate 2.7 million SNPs. Now we folded in a fourth strain. The more strains, the more polymorphisms will be identified."
Additionally, "for the first time we can accurately identify the orthologs between the human and mouse," he said.
During the luncheon, Piras also announced Celera's first foray into e-commerce with a partnership with Invitrogen, which was hosting its own lunch down the hall. According to Piras, the companies' deal will install a link in Celera's Discovery System that will allow researchers to order clones directly from Invitrogen.
"More than 300,000 cDNA clones were generated with Invitrogen clones, [which are] mapped to our genome and available for purchase from Invitrogen," Kerlavage explained. This is "implementing the first stage of e-commerce with cDNAs. There will be much more [e-commerce] coming down the road with assays with ABI."
The relationship with ABI will include what Kerlavage calls a "massive program" to resequence 20,000 genes and regulatory regions in 40 people, and using that data to offer TaqMan for human genomes via Celera's website.
The Invitrogen clone ordering function will be functional in several weeks, said Kerlavage, who would not disclose the financial details of the relationship with Invitrogen.