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In Brief This Week: Eurofins MWG Operon, Pacific Biosciences; WaferGen; BGI; BioTime; Becton Dickinson

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Eurofins MWG Operon has launched sequencing services on Pacific Biosciences' PacBio RS through a collaboration with an undisclosed early-access user of the PacBio platform who has spare capacity. The genomics services firm currently offers sequencing services on the 454 GS FLX and GS Junior, Illumina HiSeq 2000, and Life Tech ABI 3730xl, and expects to receive the GS FLX+ upgrade this summer. (For more information please see GenomeWeb Daily News sister publication In Sequence).

WaferGen Biosystems closed its private placement of $30.6 million this week. The firm placed a combination of equity and debt with investors including Great Point Partners, Deerfield Management, and Merlin Nexus, as well as certain members of WaferGen's board and management. The total amount raised was $200,000 more than the firm had initially anticipated, when it announced the placement last week.

BGI said today that its researchers at BGI-Shenzhen, along with researchers at the Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences and Zhedong White Goose Institute, have done the first complete sequencing of a goose genome. They used a whole genome shotgun sequencing strategy and next-generation sequencing tools to sequence the Zhedong white goose.

BioTime today said that the National Institutes of Health has approved its ESI-014 and ESI-017 human embryonic stem cell lines for inclusion in the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry. The firm said the approval "opens the door to the use of these cell lines in federally funded research." The firm added that to its knowledge, these are the first such cell lines approved for federal funding derived under conditions designed to be compliant with current Good Manufacturing Practices for human clinical use.

Becton Dickinson has opened its new North American Professional Service Center in San Antonio, Texas. The site currently employs 125 BD associates and is expected to bring a total of nearly 300 new jobs when it's fully operational.

The Scan

UK Funds to Stay Ahead of Variants

The UK has announced a further £29.3 million to stay on top of SARS-CoV-2 variants, the Guardian reports.

Push for Access

In a letter, researchers in India seek easier access to COVID-19 data, Science reports.

Not as Cold

Late-stage trial results are expected soon for an RNA-based vaccine that could help meet global demand as it does not require very cold storage, the New York Times writes.

Genome Research Papers on Microbes' Effects on Host Transfer RNA, Honeybee Evolution, Single-Cell Histones

In Genome Research this week: influence of microbes on transfer RNA patterns, evolutionary relationships of honeybees, and more.