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In the online edition of Nature yesterday, an international research team led by investigators at the Beijing Genomics Institute-Shenzhen reported on the giant panda genome, which they sequenced using Illumina short reads.

A team of researchers led by scientists at the Beijing Genomics Institute-Shenzhen has put together new Asian and African genome assemblies containing a wealth of sequence data missing from the human reference genome.

The genomes each contain about 5 megabases of novel sequences — some with potentially functional coding regions — that are not represented in the NCBI human reference genome.

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.

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IBM security researchers warn of a phishing campaign targeted at organizations involved in the distribution of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Verge reports.

The Illinois police have cut the number of DNA tests waiting to be run in about half, CBS Chicago reports.

A researcher accused of smuggling research materials out of the US has pleaded guilty to making false statements, according to the Associated Press.

In Science this week: gene expression signature linked to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease progression, and more.