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mergers & acquisitions

The company said that Ion Torrent's benchtop Personal Genome Machine, which is scheduled for commercial release later this year, is "highly complementary" to its capillary electrophoresis and SOLiD sequencing platforms and is "optimal for mid-scale sequencing projects, such as targeted and microbial sequencing."

Life Technologies gains access to Ion Torrent's sequencing platform, which is currently in the hands of early-access customers and will be launched later this year at an entry cost of less than $100,000. It noted that the total acquisition price could rise to $725 million if milestones are met.

In October, Origene also purchased Marligen Biosciences, and in recent months it has forged partnerships with multiple companies, expanding its foot print in the life sciences.

Myriad officials said the company is focusing on M&A activity, European expansion, and companion diagnostic development in the coming year.

The acquisition is expect to "significantly strengthen" Apredica's high-content toxicology offerings.

The purchase of the molecular imaging firm complements PerkinElmer's cellular imaging business "expanding [its] technologies and capabilities downstream into preclinical research undertaken in academic institutes and pharmaceutical companies," PerkinElmer said.

The deal gives Iris a CLIA-certified molecular pathology laboratory and a direct commercial channel for acceleration of its NADiA platform.

Illumina has acquired real-time PCR and nucleic acid-analysis firm Helixis for up to $105 million, and has launched a new benchtop PCR instrument developed by Helixis that it said will cost about a quarter the price of existing systems while delivering the same level of performance.

The technology is covered by 42 issued or allowed patents and 31 pending patent applications worldwide, according to Marina.

Illumina's revenues rose sharply on rapid uptake of its HiSeq system. The firm also acquired Helixis for up to $105 million, providing it with a new, low-cost, real-time PCR system for genetic analysis.

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A Brazilian-led team of researchers reports it has generated a sugarcane genome assembly that encompasses more than 99 percent of its genome.

Certain plasma proteins could be used to gauge a person's age and whether they are aging well, according to HealthDay News.

GenomeWeb reports that Veritas Genetics is suspending its US operations.

In Science this week: approach to measure microRNA targeting efficiency, strategy to conduct high-throughput chemical screens at single-cell resolution, and more.