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New Products: Dec 1, 2009

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454 Life Sciences plans to release a new DNA sequencing system, called GS Junior, next year (see article in this issue). According to the company, the system's performance and features will be "tuned to fit the needs of small to medium sized laboratories." The Junior will offer 400-500 base pair reads and will ship with a desktop computer optimized for data processing and downstream analysis.

454 also launched several new kits, protocols, and software updates for the Genome Sequencer FLX. These new products enable users to perform transcriptome sequencing and PCR product sequencing using the Titanium chemistry.

In addition, 454 launched a Rapid Library Preparation kit, which it said requires about half the time and less input DNA than the previous kit, and a set of 12 Rapid Library Multiplex Identifier adaptors for sample pooling.

Further, 454 released new GS De Novo Assembler software, which is capable of processing data sets from human-sized genomes and transcriptomes.


Knome has launched KnomeDiscovery, a human genome sequencing and data processing service for researchers.

The company, which until recently only offered personal genome analysis services to individuals, said the new service is especially suited for researchers with expertise in medical genomics who want to streamline data management and preliminary analysis in planned mass sequencing projects as well as researchers with expertise in specific diseases who are unfamiliar with mass sequencing approaches but want to use them to pinpoint novel alleles that contribute to a disease of interest.

Pricing for the service starts at less than $12,000 per sample, depending on the desired sequence coverage and degree of custom consultation, and the turn-around time is at least eight weeks. Knome will use its proprietary analysis platform, kGAP, to analyze sequence variants in the genomes, including annotating published allele-disease associations and predicting potential functional effects of newly discovered variants.

Knome started offering its sequencing and analysis services to researchers, rather than individuals, earlier this year but has not actively promoted them until now (see In Sequence 5/19/2009).

The Scan

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.