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Beckman Coulter Collaborates with Indiana University on Tools to Identify Toxins

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Indiana University's Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics has inked a deal with Beckman Coulter to develop genomics applications that can identify toxins that are harmful to the environment and human health.

Under the terms of the agreement, CGB biologists will work with Beckman Coulter’s application specialists and engineers to design, validate, and implement protocols that will be peddled to the high-throughput genomics market.

Brad Booze, Beckman Coulter’s life sciences director of product management, said in a statement that his firm expects its partnership with CGB to provide the company with "greater insight into the challenges and needs of genomic research laboratories," which will lead to "potential applications for automated solutions."

As an example, he noted that a tool like Beckman's Biomek liquid-handling workstations can increase the speed and accuracy with which CGB researchers and other genomic research laboratories do research.

For this partnership, the teams plan to improve automation tools for measuring gene expression in multiple samples via microarrays and next-generation sequencing instruments.

John Colbourne, CGB's genomics director, added that the teams will work on developing model systems and procedures that "assess global variation in the genetic responses of natural populations to environmental change."

The partners expect that the resources produced by their collaboration will find applications in environmental genomics research — a field that targets the diagnosis of chemical threats to ecosystems, drinking water, and food supplies.

Additionally, they plan to publish their findings in scientific journals and offer hands-on training to interested users.

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