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In Brief This Week: Illumina; Accelerate Diagnostics; Massachusetts Life Sciences Center

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Illumina this week declared conformity with the requirements of the IVD Directive and has applied the CE mark for the MiSeqDx Cystic Fibrosis System. It added that it is finalizing plans to launch the product in "a number" of European countries that require CE marking. The system comprises Illumina's MiSeq benchtop next-generation sequencing instrument, two assays — the MiSeqDx Cystic Fibrosis Diagnostic Assay and the MiSeqDx Cystic Fibrosis Carrier Screening Assay — and associated software. The system is available for order in Europe beginning this month.

Accelerate Diagnostics is distributing at no charge to holders of its common stock as of the end of the business day on July 8, non-transferable subscription rights to purchase an aggregate of almost 2.5 million shares of its common stock. The subscription price is $8.04 per share. The company is making the offering in order to raise $20 million for working capital and to fund Accelerate's business plan and product commercialization work.

Separately, the Denver-based firm also said that it joined the Russell 2000, Russell 3000, and Russell Global Indexes.

The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center launched the eighth round of its Accelerator Loan Program, which provides working capital to early stage life sciences firms. Applications for the program are due by noon, Aug. 5. The program offers loans of up to $1 million per company. The program has provided $17.2 million in loans to 26 companies since it launched in 2009.

In Brief This Week is a Friday column containing news items that our readers may have missed during the week.

The Scan

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The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

Culture-Based Methods, Shotgun Sequencing Reveal Transmission of Bifidobacterium Strains From Mothers to Infants

In a Nature Communications study, culture-based approaches along with shotgun sequencing give a better picture of the microbial strains transmitted from mothers to infants.

Microbial Communities Can Help Trees Adapt to Changing Climates

Tree seedlings that were inoculated with microbes from dry, warm, or cold sites could better survive drought, heat, and cold stress, according to a study in Science.

A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers investigate what combination of genetic and environmental factors come into play to cause cleft lip/palate.