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NEW YORK – Expansion plans are underway at Samplix as the Danish biotechnology firm rolls out its initial sequencing sample preparation offering. This week the firm introduced its Xdrop products for PCR-free target enrichment, claiming its approach can enrich genomic regions of around 100 kilobases from just a nanogram of genomic DNA. The company believes that Xdrop will find adopters in academia and clinical research, although diagnostics is on its radar.

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The Washington Post reports that a US Senate committee voted this week to approve the nomination of Stephen Hahn to lead the Food and Drug Administration.

Nature News reports that gene therapy approaches are tackling sickle cell disease, but that the cost of treatment is a concern.

One gene regulates hundreds of others to influence facial development, according to New Scientist.

In Nature this week: resources for single-cell analysis, little overlap in the microRNAs used by Salmonella and Shigella to infect host cells, and more.

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