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Iowa Universities to Pool 454, Illumina Sequencing Resources

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The University of Iowa has purchased a Roche 454 sequencer and Iowa State University has bought an Illumina sequencer, and the two universities have agreed to pool the new resources for joint use by researchers at the schools.
The 454 sequencer, which cost around $500,000, will be used in UI’s DNA facility. UI said that 60 percent of that money came through the Office of the Vice President for Research and the UI Carver College of Medicine, and the remaining 40 percent was raised from CCOM departments and faculty members planning to use the technology.
Iowa State will house the Illumina Genome Analyzer II, which cost around $535,000, in the DNA Facility of the Office of Biotechnology.
Funding to buy ISU's instrument was paid for by a group of science departments at the university, including: Iowa State Plant Sciences Institute; the DNA Facility; the Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development; the Center for Integrated Animal Genomics; the Department of Animal Science; the Department of Agronomy; the Agricultural Experiment Station; the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and the College of Engineering.
"It doesn't matter that each institution only has one machine on site because this will function as one single facility," Michael Apicella, senior associate dean for scientific affairs at UI’s CCOM, said in a statement. "Researchers from either institution now have access to two machines, which have different capabilities and will be useful for different projects. We really are sharing resources at every level."
The two schools have fiber optic cables running between them that can “transfer the huge amounts of data” the sequencing projects generate, Apicella continued.
The two machines also will be available to researchers at both universities and to private companies and to other institutions on a fee-for-service basis.
The two new sequencers will make both universities “competitive for major federal funding related to new genome sequencing initiatives, including the [National Institute of Health's] microbiome project,” Apicella explained.

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