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BLOCker sequencing

Transgenomics' CEO said these first forays into next-gen sequencing don't represent a shift in the company's strategy, which has so far been focused on Sanger sequencing and PCR technologies for molecular diagnostics.

A Transgenomic official said the company has signed deals "for a number of significant high-value projects" with pharmaceutical firms, which promise to "swell the [segment to] $1.5 million or more in the second quarter, plus [bring in] significant revenues throughout the remainder of the year."

The new method, called BLOCker sequencing, uses blocking oligos to increase the sensitivity of Sanger sequencing for specific mutations, for example in tumors or viral populations.

The World Health Organization will be providing low-cost COVID-19 tests to low- and middle-income nations, according to Reuters.

Nature News examines how the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court could affect scientific agencies.

Nobel Prize-winner Arthur Ashkin, who developed optical tweezers, has died at 98, the Washington Post reports.

In PNAS this week: altered gene expression in brain samples from Alzheimer's disease patients, effects of gene mutations found in bladder cancer, and more.