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New Products: Jul 12, 2011

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Ion Torrent's 316 chip, BGI's SOAP software

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.

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An analysis of blood donations suggests SARS-CoV-2 was present in the US weeks earlier than thought, according to NPR.

The Guardian reports that DeepMind Technologies' AlphaFold can predict how proteins fold.

CNBC reports that a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory panel is to vote on how to distribute COVID-19 vaccines.

In PNAS this week: targeting progesterone signaling in ovarian cancer, LINE-1 retrotransposition events in adenocarcinomas, and more.