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Eppendorf Strikes Sample Prep Deal with Earth Microbiome Project Labs

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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."

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