Pacific Biosciences has launched its PacBio RS II platform. Current customers can purchase an upgrade of their system, and installations are expected to begin in the second quarter. The new version doubles the throughput to 500 megabases per SMRT cell. Average read lengths are 5,000 bases with the longest reads above 20,000 bases. Both the company's C2 and XL chemistry can be used.

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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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