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Eppendorf Strikes Sample Prep Deal with Earth Microbiome Project Labs


Eppendorf said yesterday that it will collaborate on automated sample preparation protocols with pilot laboratories participating in the Earth Microbiome Project.

Under the agreement, Eppendorf will help the pilot laboratories — Argonne National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the University of Colorado, Boulder — develop automated protocols for DNA extraction and library preparation from environmental samples using its epMotion automated pipetting system.

The Earth Microbiome Project is a multidisciplinary and –institutional effort that aims to analyze microbial communities and produce a biomap of microbial life on the planet.

More specifically, the consortium will analyze 200,000 samples from microbial communities using metagenomics, metatranscriptomics, and amplicon sequencing to produce a global "Gene Atlas" describing protein space, environmental metabolic models for each biome, approximately 500,000 reconstructed microbial genomes, a global metabolic model, and a data-analysis portal for visualization of all information, according to the project's website.

In a statement, Jamie Grossi, group marketing manager for liquid handling at Eppendorf, said that "the epMotion is an easy-to-use, flexible, and open platform" that will be an "ideal tool for laboratories working on the EMP that will have diverse needs when working on such a wide range of samples."