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In Brief This Week: Quest Diagnostics; Rubicon Genomics; Agena Bioscience; and More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Quest Diagnostics this week announced that its board of directors approved a quarterly cash dividend of $.40 per share, payable on Oct. 19 to shareholders of record on Oct. 4.

Rubicon Genomics this week reported that its product sales rose 43 percent in the first half of 2016 from H1 2015. The company also announced the start of an early-access program for its new ThruPlex Tag-seq kits, which enable detection of low-frequency alleles with greater confidence. The program is available to both academic and commercial researchers.

Agena Bioscience announced this week that its Assays by Agena facility in Brisbane, Australia has received ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation in the field of biological testing for determinations of SNP genotyping, somatic mutation detection, and quantitative methylation analysis using its MassArray System. The accreditation comes from the National Association of Testing Authorities. The facility will offer a multiplexed solution for detecting rare variants in liquid biopsies as low as 0.1 percent frequency, the company said.

Life sciences instruments and reagents firm Eppendorf said that its sales for the first half of 2016 were €305.5 million ($345.9 million) compared to €289.6 million for the first half of 2015.

In Brief This Week is a selection of news items that may be of interest to our readers but had not previously appeared on the GenomeWeb site.

The Scan

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

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.