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Luxembourg Biobank to Sequence Sample Collection Using SOLiD under Life Tech Partnership

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By Julia Karow

This article, originally published March 24, has been updated to include additional information from IBBL.

The Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg, under a strategic partnership with Life Technologies, will sequence the genomes of samples from its collection as well as from research collaborators using the Applied Biosystems SOLiD platform, the partners said last week.

The IBBL is a non-profit biobanking and biotechnology foundation that was started two years ago by three public research centers and the University of Luxembourg, and was developed in collaboration with the Translational Genomics Research Institute. It has been collecting, analyzing, and distributing to researchers a wide range of biological samples, focusing initially on cancer. In addition to medical records and environmental factors related to the donor, it provides genetic and molecular information on the samples.

Under the partnership with Life Tech, funded by both parties, IBBL has acquired a SOLiD sequencer, which has yet to be installed at its facilities, according to a spokesperson.

IBBL will also have access to all upgrades of the existing SOLiD platform, as well as to Life Tech's new single-molecule sequencer, he said.

The initial goal of the project is to analyze an as yet undetermined number of cancer samples from IBBL's collection, using several approaches, including whole-genome sequencing, targeted sequencing, transcriptome sequencing, and methylation sequencing.

In addition, IBBL plans to use the instrument for collaborations with research institutes and other partners, including pharmaceutical and diagnostics firms. Among these collaborators will be the Institute for Systems Biology and the University of Luxembourg, who have been working together on a separate project since 2008 that involves sequencing at least 100 genomes (see In Sequence 6/10/2008).

The sequence data will be analyzed by IBBL, which expects to work closely with TGen in the early phase of the project. IBBL plans to study the first genome sequence this fall, according to the spokesperson, depending on how quickly it can recruit new personnel, in particular bioinformaticians.

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