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In Brief This Week: Pacific Biosciences, BioEcho, Twist Bioscience, Arrayjet, More

NEW YORK – Pacific Biosciences said this week that it is supporting Canada's Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in using HiFi whole-genome sequencing to identify genetic variants associated with medical and developmental conditions. SickKids will examine samples that were previously analyzed with short-read sequencing but where the analysis did not identify a disease-causing variant. 

BioEcho Life Sciences, a German nucleic acid purification and sample prep company, this week announced a minority investment from Ampersand Capital Partners. Financial details were not disclosed. In a statement, BioEcho said it will use the funding to support the launch of several new kits and expand its direct sales force, among other worldwide growth initiatives. 

Twist Bioscience said this week that is has joined the Digital Preservation Coalition's supporter program. The organization works to deliver long-term access to digital content and services. Twist has been working on DNA-based data storage applications for its synthetic oligonucleotides. 

Scottish microarray technology company Arrayjet said this week that it has formed a US subsidiary of the same name that will support US customers in research, pharma, and diagnostics. The company sells liquid handling and bioprinting equipment based on its patented, non-contact inkjet technology and offers contract research and manufacturing services for microarray and high-throughput screening applications. 

Caris Life Sciences said this week that the Tampa General Hospital Cancer Institute has joined the Caris Precision Oncology Alliance, a worldwide network of cancer centers that collaborate to advance precision oncology and biomarker-driven research. The network now comprises 59 cancer centers and academic institutions. Members have early access to Caris' database and artificial intelligence platform to establish evidence-based standards for cancer profiling and molecular testing in oncology. 

Mission Bio said this week that its first center of excellence, aimed at developing best practices for integrating its Tapestri platform into solid tumor research, will be located at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Jorge Reis-Filho, MSK's director of experimental pathology, will run the center. His lab plans to develop academic and industrial best practices using single-cell DNA profiling to observe tumor heterogeneity and clonal architecture in solid cancers. His team will work closely with Mission Bio’s R&D team to improve nuclei extraction protocols, roll out new virtual panel content for BRCA-mutant cancers and other cancer types, and enhance copy number variation analysis. 

Indian genomics company Mapmygenome said this week that it opened a new laboratory, called "Genomics Experience Center," in Bengaluru on March 1. The new center, which is certified by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories and the Indian Council of Medical Research, will provide genetic testing, genetic counseling, blood tests, health screening tests, antibody tests, and COVID-19 RT-PCR tests and will complement Mapmygenome's existing laboratory services in Hyderabad and Delhi. The company's flagship product, Genomepatri, analyses an individual's DNA to assess genetic risk for certain conditions, drug efficacy, and drug sensitivities. 

In Brief This Week is a selection of news items that may be of interest to our readers but had not previously appeared on GenomeWeb.

The Scan

Genetic Ancestry of South America's Indigenous Mapuche Traced

Researchers in Current Biology analyzed genome-wide data from more than five dozen Mapuche individuals to better understand their genetic history.

Study Finds Variants Linked to Diverticular Disease, Presents Polygenic Score

A new study in Cell Genomics reports on more than 150 genetic variants associated with risk of diverticular disease.

Mild, Severe Psoriasis Marked by Different Molecular Features, Spatial Transcriptomic Analysis Finds

A spatial transcriptomics paper in Science Immunology finds differences in cell and signaling pathway activity between mild and severe psoriasis.

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.