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Researchers from BGI Shenzhen and elsewhere used a metagenomics approach to identify and characterize the microbial genes found in the human gut.

The team used an assortment of sequencing technology, including 454 GS FLX Titanium, SOLiD, and Illumina, and de novo assembled one genome from 454 sequence data. An analysis comparing results from the three platforms is in preparation.

The project, announced just before the start of the Chinese year of the tiger last weekend, is part of BGI's goal to sequence the genomes of 1,000 plant and animal reference species over the next two years.

A University of Copenhagen-led team reported today that they have sequenced a draft version of an ancient human genome from the remains of a man who lived in Greenland some 4,000 years ago.

Illumina unveiled a new sequencer and said China's BGI has ordered 128 of the new instruments. Company officials also provided early Q4 revenues and touted its new BeadChip product at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.

Most of the units will be housed at BGI's new genome center in Hong Kong. The instruments will be installed throughout 2010, starting this quarter.

The funding will "help BGI build research and application platforms for sustainable development in agriculture, bio-energy, personalized healthcare, and related fields," according to a statement from the institute.

An international committee organized by BGI will select the species to be sequenced from proposals by researchers, based on the importance of the species, the applicant's financial resources, the project's scientific strength, and the experimental design.

A prime example of the progress made in bioinformatics over the last year was the publication this week in Nature of the panda genome, which the Beijing Genomics Institute in Shenzhen sequenced and assembled de novo using only the Illumina Genome Analyzer platform and the SOAPdenovo algorithm for assembly.

The study is one of the first in which researchers sequenced and de novo assembled a large mammalian genome using only short-read technology


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.