NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Women's health diagnostics company Inex Innovations Exchange announced today a partnership with BGI to create a next-generation sequencing facility in Singapore to offer molecular genetic tests.

The first test to be offered will be iGeneScreen, a non-invasive test developed by BGI to detect fetal chromosomal abnormalities. Using a 5 milliliter blood sample from expectant mothers at 12 weeks or later into their pregnancies, the test analyzes fetal DNA in maternal blood for trisomies 21, 18, and 13.

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In Nature this week: omic analysis of permafrost microbes, hookworm genome, and more.

Biologists turn to environmental DNA sampling to determine whether elusive or invasive species are shedding DNA in a given area.

Rob Knight writes at Scientific American that microbiome studies are about to break out of the laboratory.

Harold Varmus, the director of the National Cancer Institute, has announced that he is stepping down after nearly five years.