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Sequencher 4.8, MIRA 2.9.15, QuickExtract, dbSNP Build 128, Trugene HIV-1, OpenGene

Gene Codes has launched Sequencher 4.8, a new version of its software program for DNA sequence assembly and analysis on PC and Mac platforms. Sequencher 4.8 adds the Translated Variance Table, which helps researchers find DNA sequence variations that alter protein coding. Along with improvements to the Variance Table, users can now customize the focus of their analysis to specific regions or features, showing variants and flanking bases in one interactive table. Other new features include four new reporting formats for saving or presenting results along with all the supporting data in one place. A demo version is ready for download from the company website.

The MIRA 2.9.15 sequence assembler is now available here. This is the second version of the assembler that is available to the public. It is able to assemble de novo, as well as map, sequences from 454’s GS20 and GS FLX instruments. Compared to 2.9.8, MIRA 2.9.15 is faster, requires less memory, and is more accurate when working with 454 data. MIRA is also able to perform hybrid sequence assembly. Version 2.9.15 is still in development and not entirely optimized. Assembly of 100 MB of raw data requires 4-5 GB RAM, 15 GB disk space and 21 hours of computation time.

Epicentre Biotechnologies has launched the QuickExtract plant DNA extraction solution, which can be used to obtain PCR-ready genomic DNA from most plant samples using a simple, 8-minute protocol with two sequential heating steps. Most leafy plants are acceptable for DNA extraction, including Arabidopsis, spelt, corn, soybean, and pepper leaves. The method allows for the processing of samples without centrifugation, spin columns, or use of any toxic organic solvent. The DNA can be used for standard endpoint or real-time PCR applications.

dbSNP Build 128 is now available here. The updated version contains new mapping information for a number of organisms.

Siemens Medical Solutions Diagnostics’ Trugene HIV-1 genotyping kit and OpenGene DNA sequencing software system are now supported by the Apple iMac OS X operating system. The Trugene iMac OSX-based system provides an integrated computational system that delivers enhanced data management, simplified system configuration, and networking support as well as increased flexibility and throughput for laboratories that provide genotype and gene sequence information. The system is available in Europe, Asia-Pacific, Canada, South America, and Latin America as a CE marked product. One OS X-based system enables laboratories to run up to eight long-read towers of automated DNA sequencers, the company said.

The Scan

Booster Push

New data shows a decline in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine efficacy over time, which the New York Times says Pfizer is using to argue its case for a booster, even as the lower efficacy remains high.

With Help from Mr. Fluffington, PurrhD

Cats could make good study animals for genetic research, the University of Missouri's Leslie Lyons tells the Atlantic.

Man Charged With Threatening to Harm Fauci, Collins

The Hill reports that Thomas Patrick Connally, Jr., was charged with making threats against federal officials.

Nature Papers Present Approach to Find Natural Products, Method to ID Cancer Driver Mutations, More

In Nature this week: combination of cryogenic electron microscopy with genome mining helps uncover natural products, driver mutations in cancer, and more.