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Idaho State Lands NSF Funds for Ion Torrent Sequencer

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Idaho State University will use a new $194,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to buy an Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine for use in its Molecular Research Core Facility (MRCF).

Researchers will use the sequencing technology at the MRCF for a wide range of investigations including studies of microbial evolution and biodiversity, evolutionary genome analyses, studies of adaptations to extreme environments and global climate change, and disease research, explained Michael Thomas, MRCF's academic director and an ISU professor of biological sciences.

Thomas said that the new sequencer will be the core of a new computational biology training program expected to launch in a couple of years at ISU aimed at preparing students for working in the biotech field.

Regional research groups beyond ISU will use the sequencer, including scientists from the US Department of Agriculture's Ag Research Station in Aberdeen, the US Geological Survey office in Boise, Boise State University, and Montana State University.

"The Ion PGM will generate hundreds of thousands of dollars of additional revenue for the MRCF, which will be used to leverage additional new technologies and services," Thomas said.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.