Halcyon Molecular

Scientists formerly employed by electron microscopy sequencing firm Halcyon Molecular have published a method they developed at the company for stretching single DNA strands and placing them on a substrate.

In a step toward visualizing the sequence of long DNA molecules directly under an electron microscope, ZS Genetics has demonstrated that it can identify single labeled bases in DNA using annular dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy.

Companies developing DNA sequencing and related technologies, as well as firms working on sequencing-based genetic tests, were among almost 3,000 small biotechs who received a total of $1 billion in grants and tax credits under the QTDP program.

At the National Human Genome Research Institute's Advanced Sequencing Technology Development meeting in Chapel Hill, NC, two weeks ago, J. Provine, Halcyon's director of nanofabrication, talked about the progress the company has made over the last several years.

$28.7 million in stimulus funding boosted the number of awards for low-cost sequencing technology development this year from 10 to 17. Seven grants went to corporate research teams, at Pacific Biosciences, Helicos BioSciences, IBM, Ion Torrent Systems, Electronic Biosciences, GE Global Research, and Lightspeed Genomics. Another award supports collaborative research with Halcyon Molecular.

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Kelly Frazer, Mark Chaisson, George Church, Ron Davis, Patrik Dahlén, David Haussler, James Kent

According to the scientists, who published their results online in Nature Nanotechnology last week, the results are "a step towards the realization of electronic-based single-molecule DNA sequencing."

Chinese state news agency Xinhua reports that a preliminary investigation has found He Jiankui performed his gene-editing work illegally.

John Mendelsohn, a former president of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, has died, the New York Times reports.

Identical twins receive different estimates of ancestry from the same direct-to-consumer genetic testing firms, CBC reports.

In PNAS this week: chromosomal features of maize, adaptations in the vinous-throated parrotbill, and more.