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cytogenetics

By Justin Petrone
Growing demand for arrays designed to detect tumor copy-number changes is enticing more chip manufacturers to offer tools tailor-made for cancer research.

The American College of Medical Genetics this month published recommendations for how best to design and interpret chromosomal microarrays used in clinical labs.

A company official shed little light on Agilent's plans for the diagnostics space, but an investment analyst said that the company will probably remain a peripheral player.

The Madrid-based genetic diagnostics center, which is authorized by Madrid's health department and is accredited by the Spanish Association of Human Genetics, becomes Agilent's first certified service provider in the country.

Affymetrix expects CytoScan HD to "set performance standards" in the cytogenetics research market, and believes that the new chip will have the "broadest degree of coverage for constitutional and cancer applications."

The new high-density chips could give Roche NimbleGen an advantage in the market for clinical research arrays, such as cytogenetics, where it competes against Affymetrix, Agilent Technologies, and Illumina.

Array technology has enabled cytogeneticists to inadvertently identify children born of incestuous relationships, a fact that has caused researchers at Baylor College of Medicine to call for official guidelines on handling such cases.

Roche NimbleGen said that in the second half of 2011 it plans to double the density of its arrays for comparative genomic hybridization to 4.2 million markers, and will also introduce CGH/SNP arrays containing 2.1 million markers.

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The Hill reports President Donald Trump issued an executive directing federal agencies to cut the number of board and advisory committees they have.

The New York Times reports that researchers are combining tools to more quickly develop crops to feed a growing population and cope with shifting climates.

Scientists in Canada are looking to the UK's plan to sequence children with rare conditions for inspiration, the National Post reports.

In PNAS this week: copy number changes arose during polar bear evolution, genomic and transcriptomic analysis of the Siberian hamster, and more.