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New Products: FlexGen's FleXelect kits; Hamilton Robotics' automated sample prep kit; Galaxy update

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FlexGen has launched a set of target enrichment products in its FleXelect product line. The products include a whole-exome enrichment kit as well as several targeted gene panels, including a cancer risk panel, hereditary diseases panel, and a BRCA screening kit.


Hamilton Robotics has launched its automated sample prep enrichment solution, which is based on its Microlab Starlet Liquid Handling Workstation, for sequencing on Roche's 454 GS FLX. The workflow integrates Roche's REM e liquid handling system to enrich up to eight samples. Additionally, the protocol automates five hours of manual work and results in less variability and more consistent results, according to the company.


Researchers at Pennsylvania State University and Emory University have released a new version of Galaxy. The new version now supports TopHat 1.4.0 and Cufflinks, CuffDiff, and CuffCompare 1.3.0 as well as Python, Sam Tools, FASTQC, and Picard.

The tool also enables sharing of workflows and includes a direct link to browse VCF and BAM files in the Integrative Genomics Viewer as well as new visualization features, performance upgrades, and drag-and-drop composite track creation.


Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University have released CummeRbund 1.1.1, software for analyzing Cufflinks RNA-seq output. The new release, available here, fixes a number of bugs and includes new features. The new version will also be available as part of the Bioconductor development version 2.10.


The National Center for Biotechnology Information has added new attributes to entries in its refSNP database including: clinical significance, minor allele frequency and global minor allele frequency, suspect variations, and allele origin. Clinical significance scores are provided by submitters and not interpreted by the NCBI. The attributions are in the ASN1_flat files, available here via FTP server.

The Scan

Guidelines for Ancient DNA Work

More than two dozen researchers have developed new ethical guidelines for conducting ancient DNA research, which they present in Nature.

And Cleared

A UK regulator has cleared former UK Prime Minister David Cameron in concerns he should have registered as a consultant-lobbyist for his work with Illumina, according to the Financial Times.

Suit Over Allegations

The Boston Globe reports that David Sabatini, who was placed on leave from MIT after allegations of sexual harassment, is suing his accuser, the Whitehead Institute, and the institute's director.

Nature Papers on Esophageal Cancer, Origin of Modern Horses, Exome Sequencing of UK Biobank Participants

In Nature this week: genetic and environmental influences of esophageal cancer, domestic horse origin traced to Western Eurasian steppes, and more.