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Virginia Commonwealth University Buys Sequencers From Solexa, 454 Life Sciences

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Virginia Commonwealth University has expanded its genomics program by purchasing a 454 GS FLX sequencer from Roche and a Solexa 1G Genetic Analyzer, the school said yesterday.
VCU said it has also recruited Yuan Gao from Harvard, who had been working with George Church on next-generation sequencing technologies, and Maria Rivera from UCLA, whose research focuses on applying comparative genomics leading to the proposal of a “Ring of Life” as an alternative to the traditional “Tree of Life.”

The sequencers will be used by researchers in VCU’s Center for the Study of Biological Complexity. According to the school, Gao’s wet lab will host the Solexa machine and use it for high-throughput genome sequencing, gene-expression profiling, and the Personal Genome Project, in collaboration with Church’s lab at Harvard.  

Rivera will use the technology to confirm and extend her “controversial” new theory on the origin of eukaryotes, VCU said.
CSBC Director Gregory Buck said the new sequencing tools, which will be installed at the school’s Center for the Study of Biological Complexity, will bring the center’s sequencing costs down to “a fraction” of previous projects.
Buck said the center spent four years and more than $2 million on its recent sequence of the 10-megabase Cryptosporidium hominis genome. Now, he said, “we could reproduce that effort in two weeks for a cost well south of $100,000.”
Financial terms of the deals were not released.

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