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Escherichia coli

DuPont Qualicon said this month that the US Department of Agriculture Food and Safety Inspection Service has approved the DuPont Qualicon BAX STEC assay for screening Shiga toxin-producing strains of Escherichia coli, or STEC.

Seegene and DuPont Nutrition & Health said today that they have inked an agreement to jointly develop highly multiplexed assays to detect foodborne pathogens by combining Seegene's real-time PCR and melt curve analysis technology with DuPont's benchtop BAX System.

Researchers used the PacBio system to sequence the O104;H4 strain of Escherichia coli responsible for a recent outbreak in Europe that resulted in thousands of illnesses and more than 50 deaths.

PacBio said it has extended its average read length to 2,900 bases and incorporated circular consensus sequencing to obtain a de novo assembly with 99.998-percent consensus accuracy.

In an online presentation, Illumina emphasized the higher throughput and accuracy of its system compared to the Ion Torrent 314 chip. Life Technologies, meantime, contests some of Illumina's claims, touting the Ion Torrent platform as being a "truly disruptive technology."

The outbreak genome has now been sequenced on four different platforms — the Ion Torrent PGM, Illumina's HiSeq and MiSeq, and Roche's 454 GS Junior.

OpGen has used its Argus Optical Mapping system to produce whole-genome optical maps of six of the isolates. Meantime, a UK team has used the 454 Junior to sequence and assemble the E. coli strain and BGI is continuing to publish draft assemblies.

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The Washington Post reports that the CDC's SARS-CoV-2 test issues reflect earlier ones it had with Zika virus testing.

NPR writes that even with thousands of new COVID-19 papers, each should be evaluated based on its own quality.

Researchers traced a gene cluster linked to COVID-19 severity to Neanderthals, the New York Times reports.

In PNAS this week: soil bacteria-derived small molecules affect centrosomal protein, microfluidics approach for capturing circulating tumor cells, and more.