Life Technologies last week launched its Wildfire sample prep technology for the 5500, which eliminates emulsion PCR, reduces sample prep time and cost, and increases exome and transcriptome sequencing throughput two- to five-fold per lane.

The upgrade is available to 5500 customers for $70,000, which includes a new graphics processing unit and a scientific CMOS camera.

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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.