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Japanese Firm, Takara, to Form Dragon Genomics

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YOTO, Japan--Takara Shuzo, a large liquor and seasonings company here that also has a biotechnology division, said it will form a genomics unit called Dragon Genomics, Bloomberg reported. The parent company said it will spend 6 billion yen ($57 million) to establish Dragon, which will open for business later this year. The new division will use gene analyzers from Shimadzu, which claimed its sequencers can process 230,000 bases from 384 genome samples simultaneously, while competing machines can process only up to 52,000 bases. Relying on that equipment and high-throughput genome analysis technology from Nucleics of Sydney, Australia, Dragon expects to have as much as half of the gene-mapping capabilities that Celera has. As it creates the new operation, Takara will double the size of its DNA lab in China, which will provide DNA samples to be analyzed at Dragon.

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