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Beckman Coulter, U of Birmingham Collaborate to Improve Throughput for Omics Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Beckman Coulter today announced a collaboration with the University of Birmingham, UK aimed at research into higher-throughput biology.

The collaboration supports work by U of Birmingham researchers in environmental and human health applications and will focus on developing new strategies to integrate Beckman Coulter's automation platforms into omics workflows, including genomics and metabolomics. The genomics part of the collaboration includes improving sample preparation for transcriptome profiling and DNA population sequencing on next-generation sequencing platforms. The metabolomics work will focus on increasing sample throughput in environment and clinical mass spectrometry metabolomics research.

The partners said that technological innovations stemming from the agreement specifically target the safety and management of chemicals and nanoparticles in drinking water quality, human health, and ecosystems "by transforming evaluation methods that require massive numbers of samples."

The development of early warning systems for infectious diseases and more rapid clinical diagnoses are also expected to result from their work. Beckman Coulter and the university expect to engage in joint research projects, share samples and data that could bring about higher-throughput technologies, exchange know-how for improving hardware and software performance, promote training for graduate students, and publish new methodology and scientific advances.

"By industrializing the process of acquiring knowledge on how gene interactions and animal metabolism are disrupted by the tens of thousands of human-made compounds that can enter the environment, we hope to provide useful and predictive toxicological information to industry and policy makers for effective environment and health protection," John Colbourne, the University of Birmingham's chair of environmental genomics, said in a statement.