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In an online presentation, Illumina emphasized the higher throughput and accuracy of its system compared to the Ion Torrent 314 chip. Life Technologies, meantime, contests some of Illumina's claims, touting the Ion Torrent platform as being a "truly disruptive technology."

BGI Europe is in the process of expanding its sales and marketing operations, is outfitting its new laboratory space, and is participating in several large sequencing studies, all ahead of an official opening.

The company has used the technology to find errors in microbial assemblies from the Human Microbiome Project, as well as in finished genomes, and to close introduced gaps in sequenced human genomes.

BGI is “working very closely with the International Nucleotide Sequence Database Collaboration and other parties” to determine whether the resource will be a part of the consortium as well as how it will be operated.

BGI, which, according to an official, generated roughly $6.2 million in proteomics revenue last year, plans to buy around 15 new high-resolution machines and 30 to 40 triple quadrupoles as part of its efforts to expand into the clinical proteomics and pharma markets.

Having sequenced the genome of Escherichia coli O104, separate teams from Life Technologies and BGI said this week that they have developed PCR-based tests to detect the bacterium and help public health officials identify and track future outbreaks.

The California university and the Chinese institute will share genome sequencing, informatics, and other research resources.

According to Dag Harmsen, director of research at the University of Münster, the quick turnaround time of the instrument made it possible to obtain results within three days. "The biggest advantage [of the PGM] from my point of view as a public health official is that it's speedy, and speed is what is needed at the moment," he told In Sequence.

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

The partners will establish joint research programs, share staff and knowledge, and create a new shared facility for genomics sequencing.

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NPR reports that many USDA researchers working at the two agencies that are relocating to the Kansas City area are declining to go.

Genetic genealogy has helped exonerate a man who has been jailed for 20 years, Agence France Presse reports.

A new report says genetically modified food might be necessary to be able to feed a planet of nearly 10 billion people, Bloomberg says.

In Nature this week: new RNA editing approach called LEAPER, draft assembly of Musa balbisiana banana genome, and more.