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Ion Torrent to Launch 'Personal Genome Machine' Sequencer This Year; Give Away Two Instruments

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This article was originally published Feb. 24.

Ion Torrent Systems said last week that it plans to launch a "Personal Genome Machine" DNA sequencer this year and to give away two of the instruments under a grant program.

The company, which is based in Guilford, Conn., and has offices in San Francisco, offered scant details about the technology behind its sequencer or its performance prior to the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology meeting last week (see other article, this issue).

Ion Torrent said it will award two of the instruments to scientists in April through a grant program designed to promote the development of new applications "that leverage the instrument's unprecedented speed, scalability, and low cost."

Applications will be accepted from Feb. 27 until April 4 and will be judged according to the research ideas as well as the resources and expertise of the applicants. Reviewers include Ion Torrent founder and CEO Jonathan Rothberg and scientific advisory board members Ron Davis and George Church.

The first award will be announced on April 19, coinciding with the 45th anniversary of a paper by Gordon Moore in which he proposed "Moore's Law;" the second on April 25, to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the publication of the DNA double helix structure by Jim Watson and Francis Crick.

More information about the grant program is available on Ion Torrent's website.

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