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The 'Arbimagical' Goal of the $1,000 Genome

Which sequencing platform will win the race to the 30X, $1,000 genome? That's what Keith Robison at Omics! Omics! wants to know. Of all the existing platforms, two are close to what Robison calls the "arbimagical" goal — a goal which is arbitrary but has achieved a magical aura from being repeated so much. ABI's SOLiD 4 platform has been said to generate a $6,000 genome, and the SOLiD 4 hq upgrade is planned for this fall with a target of delivering a $3,000 genome, Robison says. But Life Technologies could edge the SOLiD 4 aside since the hq upgrade doesn't use optimal bead packing, and since the new paired-end reagents offer 75 base pair reads in one direction but only 25 base pair reads in the other. Complete Genomics is another possible contender, Robison says, as is Illumina (whose HiSeq is supposedly at a $10,000 genome already). With other companies and other technologies waiting in the wings, the race could be tight, he adds. IonTorrent may only be two years away, and researchers, like those at GNUBio, are also working on new nanopore-based systems.

The Scan

Vaccine Update Recommended

A US Food and Drug Administration panel recommends booster vaccines be updated to target Omicron, CNBC reports.

US to Make More Vaccines for Monkeypox Available

The US is to make nearly 300,000 vaccine doses available in the coming weeks to stem the spread of human monkeypox virus, according to NPR.

Sentence Appealed

The Associated Press reports that Swedish prosecutors are appealing the sentence given to a surgeon once lauded for transplanting synthetic tracheas but then convicted of causing bodily harm.

Genome Biology Papers on COVID-19 Effector Genes, Virtual ChIP-seq, scDART

In Genome Biology this week: proposed COVID-19 effector genes, method to predict transcription factor binding patterns, and more.