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New Product Watch: Mar 23, 2010

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Illumina last week launched HiScanSQ. The new instrument combines a microarray scanner with a sequencing module and consists of two components: the HiScan Reader, an array scanner with sub-micron resolution for imaging the company's BeadChips; and the SQ Module, an add-on fluidics device for sequencing that uses the same SBS chemistry as Illumina's other sequencing platforms. For sequencing, it also requires the cBot clonal amplification system to grow DNA clusters.

Illumina said that existing users of its iScan reader for array scanning will be able to perform sequencing with the purchase of the SQ module. The company has not disclosed the price for the system, which is scheduled to ship in the second quarter.

The HiScanSQ can generate more than 50 gigabases of high-quality data per run, with run times ranging from 1.5 days for a 36-base single-end run to 8 days for a 2x100-base paired-end run. Each flow cell has 8 lanes and generates approximately 250 million filtered reads.


Affymetrix this week launched the Mouse Diversity Genotyping Array for the study of mouse genome complexity and diversity among mouse strains.

The array was developed in the laboratories of Fernando Pardo-Manuel de Villena of the University of North Carolina, and Gary Churchill of the Center for Genome Dynamics at the Jackson Laboratory.

Using the array, researchers can assay 623,124 SNPs and survey more than 900,000 invariant genomic regions in the mouse genome. Researchers can use it to genotype almost any mouse, identify genetic changes involved in disease phenotypes, and genetically monitor important laboratory mouse strains, according to the company.

Separately, the Jackson Laboratory this week began offering its JAX Mouse Diversity Genotyping Array Service, provided by the same microarray and computational analysis group that participated in the design of the Mouse Diversity Genotyping Array.

The Jackson Laboratory has run more than 1,000 samples on the new array and has developed tools that enable accurate genotype calling, the lab said.


Ambry Genetics this week launched its X-Linked Mental Retardation SuperPanel, a suite of genetic tests to determine the cause of intellectual disability and X-linked mental retardation.

The SuperPanel tests include the XLMR Array Plus, a full-genome chromosomal microarray with a 150,000-probe backbone containing enhanced coverage of the X chromosome and exon-level targeting of the known XLMR genes; and the XLMR Next Gen Sequencing Panel, which includes full sequencing of XLMR genes.

As part of the service, Ambry also offers a Fragile X DNA analysis test with Southern blot and PCR; a FRAXE DNA analysis test; an MECP2 Amplified test for detection of Rett Syndrome in females; a MECP2 Del/Dup test for detection of gross gene duplications in males; sequencing of individual XLMR genes; and further analysis on its 105K chromosomal microarray.


Febit this week began offering whole-genome sequencing services in Europe for a broad range of species. The new services complement its biochip-based HybSelect targeted resequencing services, the German company said.

Febit's new services will be performed on Applied Biosystems SOLiD high-throughput sequencing systems. The company said it recently acquired two SOLiDs from Life Technologies. Using a barcoding option, Febit said it will offer whole human genome resequencing for €9,750 ($13,150).


LC Sciences this week launched its Seq-ArraySM services for researchers investigating microRNA.

Via Seq-ArraySM, LC Sciences offers exploratory high-throughput sequencing of RNA samples to generate an atlas of all microRNAs within a given research study. The firm said it then uses data analysis tools to map the raw sequencing reads to a custom generated sequence database, classify and align all sequences and sequence variants, as well as to predict novel microRNAs. Finally, a custom SeqArray microarray for expression profiling is designed based on the mapped novel microRNAs, the predicted novel microRNAs, and any previously described publicly available microRNA sequences, the company said.


BioDiscovery this week released ImaGene 9.0 for microarray image analysis. New features in the software tool include improved memory performance for high-density arrays, a streamlined processing pipeline focused on image quantification and intensity extraction, and new modular design with options to add modules for analysis of gene and miRNA expression or comparative genomic hybridization data. BioDiscovery also enables users to import external modules into ImaGene 9.0 for downstream analysis.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.