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By the end of the year, BGI expects to generate 5 terabases worth of sequence data per day. Its Hong Kong location, which handles international samples, will be outfitted with at least 100 Illumina HiSeq 2000 machines and 20 Applied Biosystems SOLiD instruments, while the Shenzhen facility, which focuses on domestic projects, will have 37 HiSeqs and between 5 and 10 SOLiDs.

Under a "statement of intent" signed last week, the two institutions plan to "initiate and develop a working relationship" and to explore areas of mutual interest in healthcare and discovery "with the common goal of creating value from the massive output of genomic information enabled by next-generation high-throughput DNA sequencing and analysis technologies."

Paired Ends: Sep 21, 2010

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Julia Dan, Paul Tu, Jurg Ott, Richard Resnick, Richard Wilson, William Efcavitch, Gregory Critchfield

The statement of intent signed today is the first step toward bringing together Merck's expertise in pharmaceutical development "with the powerful sequencing and bioinformatics capabilities of BGI," a Merck official said.

Kings College London and BGI will run epigenomics studies of 5,000 twins to understand why some identical twins with the same genes get different diseases.

The researchers plan to compare differences in methylation patterns of 20 million CpG islands between pairs of twins. The aim is to find differences that explain why many identical twins do not develop the same diseases.

The two institutions will collaborate on research projects to better understand the genetic underpinnings of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cancer.

BGI and the university have pledged to cooperate in future research about the role of genes in cancer, obesity, and type 2 diabetes, as well as create additional educational opportunities for Danish and Chinese students.

According to the NIDDK solicitation, BGI will sequence the genome of a Pima Indian on the Illumina platform and provide, within two-and-a-half months of sample delivery and quality control, 270 gigabases of sequence data, an assembly of the consensus sequence, and a comparison with other ethnic genomes.

Salzberg, who has developed a suite of open-source, freely available tools for genome assembly, alignment, and analysis, spoke with In Sequence recently on the challenges of developing informatics tools for next-generation sequencing technology.

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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.