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The "third-generation genome sequencing instrument" that the partners plan to build is expected to sequence a human genome in an hour at a cost of approximately $1,000. The first test instrument is scheduled to be available in 2013.

The institute said that it has so far used the Illumina platform for the "rapid, accurate, and cost-effective completion of several large genome projects … including the giant panda genome."

Using Sanger and Illumina methods, an international team has generated a draft genome sequence of the domestic cucumber, Cucumis sativus.

"The method we developed and used in silkworm can also apply to other organisms, and it was a new milepost in population genome analyses," said Jun Wang, deputy director of BGI-Shenzhen.

In a paper appearing online today in Science, a BGI-led team re-sequenced 40 wild and domestic silkworm genomes, finding new clues about silkworm evolution and domestication.

The multi-partner project will seek to sequence and analyze many microbial genomes.

A group of Chinese researchers will sequence one orchid species, and draft the transcriptomes of others.

BGI has used the algorithm, called SOAPdenovo, to assemble the panda genome, which it is sequencing with the Illumina Genome Analyzer.

The highest auction bidder will receive a copy of his or her genome sequence, along with a comprehensive interpretation. Two years of analysis update services are also included.

BGI-Shenzhen will sequence the genomes of three extreme cold animals, learning their tricks and studying population diversity.

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Mainichi reports that 43 percent of Japanese individuals said they did not want to eat agricultural products that had been modified using gene-editing tools.

Two US Department of Agriculture research departments are moving to the Kansas City area, according to the Washington Post.

Slate's Jane Hu compares some at-home genetic tests to astrology.

In PLOS this week: analysis of polygenic risk scores for skin cancer, chronic pain GWAS, and more.