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

There are two main problems when it comes to sequencing single cells: Whole-genome amplification protocols do not amplify the genome in an unbiased manner, and PCR steps in library preparation introduce additional biases and errors.

New Products: Apr 5, 2011

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Clontech's SMARTer Ultra Low RNA kit, Bioo Scientific's NEXTflex PCR-Free DNA sequencing kit, Halo Genomics' HaloPlex PCR reagent kit, BGI a service provider for Agilent's SureSelect enrichment kits

BGI is now certified for all SureSelect XT target enrichment protocols, including human all-exon, SureSelect indexing, DNA capture, RNA capture, kinome RNA, and custom kits.

The team is employing two sequencing strategies: a metagenomics approach and amplicon sequencing of the 16S and 18S ribosomal RNA genes. In total, 30 to 40 trillion base pairs of sequence data will be generated from the 10,000 samples.

The Chinese institute will provide the global metagenomics effort to create a Gene Atlas with sequencing, sampling, informatics, and other genomics support.

A BGI Americas official recently outlined some previously undisclosed projects and provided updates on ongoing initiatives ranging from disease-related sequencing to de novo assembly of model organisms.

"Given the essential role of microbes for life on our planet, and our lack of understanding of their complexity and diversity, it is critical that we conquer this unknown frontier," BGI's president said in a statement.

Paired Ends: Mar 22, 2011

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Huanming Yang

Using sequencing technology, researchers will try to detect unknown pathogens that may be associated with cancer and develop a genome atlas of the Danish population.

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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.