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Pacific Biosciences Sequel Chemistry and Software Update

Pacific Biosciences has launched a new chemistry, V2, and new software, V4, for its Sequel sequencing system that will be available on Jan. 23. The release also includes a new version of the consumable SMRT cells. The updates improve the system's ability to support applications such as structural variant detection and targeted sequencing for tasks such as metagenomics, minor variant detection, and isoform sequencing. The mean read length is now 10 to 18 kilobases, with half the data in reads larger than 20 kilobases. Throughput is now 5 to 8 gigabases, depending on sample type and sample prep method used. The system is now also capable of loading 80-kilobase sequencing libraries. The new software includes updates to the base-calling algorithm that increase accuracy and new features to the system software to support clinical research applications.

The Scan

Panel Recommends Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine for Kids

CNN reports that the US Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has voted in favor of authorizing the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between 5 and 11 years old.

Sharing How to Make It

Merck had granted a royalty-free license for its COVID-19 treatment to the Medicines Patent Pool, according to the New York Times.

Bring it Back In

Bloomberg reports that a genetic analysis has tied a cluster of melioidosis cases in the US to a now-recalled aromatherapy spray.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on SomaMutDB, VThunter, SCovid Databases

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: database of somatic mutations in normal tissue, viral receptor-related expression signatures, and more.