Illumina said this week that it plans this year to submit for US Food and Drug Administration clearance its HiSeq 2500 platform coupled with Verinata Health's Verifi test for noninvasive prenatal fetal aneuploidy screening.

In a presentation at the JP Morgan Healthcare conference in San Francisco, President and CEO Jay Flatley said the company plans to file the instrument for clearance in 2014 and that the Verifi test would be the first assay. Clearance of the HiSeq 2500 would enable other third parties to submit their test on the system, he said.

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In Science this week: mtDNA analysis give glimpse into decline of Neanderthals in Europe, and more.

The University of Arizona's Raina Maier writes that an understanding of the Earth's microbiome is needed.

The proposed Canadian budget emphasizes partnerships with industry, Nature News reports.

An Australian study of personalized medicine has run into problems as it recruits patients.

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