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NIDDK Taps BGI for Human Genome Sequencing Project

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This article was originally published Aug. 2.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases plans to award a project to sequence and analyze a single human genome to BGI-Hong Kong, according to a solicitation posted recently on the Federal Business Opportunities website.

NIDDK wants to have the genome of one Pima Indian sequenced “at a very high level of completeness,” according to the document. The institute will provide 5 micrograms of DNA and asked for 90-fold coverage on the Illumina platform “or its equivalent.” It expects to receive an assembly of the consensus sequence, as well as the detection and distribution of SNPs, indels, and structural variations.

According to the institute, BGI will sequence the sample on the Illumina technology and provide, within two-and-a-half months of sample delivery and quality control, 270 gigabases of sequence data, an assembly of the consensus sequence, and a comparison with other ethnic genomes. It will deliver the data — both raw sequence data and data in a finalized format — through its FTP site or via mail on a hard disk.

Financial terms of the contract were not provided.

BGI recently founded two international branches, BGI Americas and BGI Europe, and plans to build sequencing facilities in the US and in Denmark (IS 5/25/2010). In May, a BGI spokesman said that all projects for American or European clients would be conducted at BGI's headquarters in Shenzhen or at BGI-Hong Kong for now.

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