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Opentrons Flex Lab Robot

Opentrons has launched its Flex robot, a programmable liquid handling platform. According to the Brooklyn, New York-based lab automation company, the Flex is low cost, easy to program, compatible with AI tools, and can use a variety of protocols. It comes with a library of more than 500 protocols and cloud software to create new ones. The platform comes in different versions: The Opentrons Flex NGS workstation, which is priced starting below $50,000 and can automate many popular next-gen sequencing library preparation kits; and the Opentrons Flex Protein Purification workstation, which is priced starting below $40,000 and can automate magnetic bead-based protein purification workflows.

The Scan

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

Culture-Based Methods, Shotgun Sequencing Reveal Transmission of Bifidobacterium Strains From Mothers to Infants

In a Nature Communications study, culture-based approaches along with shotgun sequencing give a better picture of the microbial strains transmitted from mothers to infants.

Microbial Communities Can Help Trees Adapt to Changing Climates

Tree seedlings that were inoculated with microbes from dry, warm, or cold sites could better survive drought, heat, and cold stress, according to a study in Science.

A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers investigate what combination of genetic and environmental factors come into play to cause cleft lip/palate.