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optical mapping

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter
NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – OpGen has raised $2.1 million, the Gaithersburg, Md., firm confirmed today.

By Julia Karow
OpGen is betting on structural variation detection in humans as an important niche for its optical genome mapping technology as the company scales up from microbial to mammal-size genomes.

OpGen will provide optical maps and sequence-finishing technology, while IGS will contribute clinically characterized microbial samples and sequencing data from microbial genomics studies.

The collaboration is expected to result in a more complete view of microbial genome architecture.

Starting this month, the institute's Mapping and Archive Sequencing division plans to generate optical maps of bacterial and parasite genomes.

The company launched its Argus LS system for simpler organisms earlier this year and is now looking at a Q3 2011 launch of its system for larger genomes, including plants, humans, and other animals.

BGI and OpGen believe that OpGen’s optical mapping technology will complement next-generation sequencing in order to "enable the efficient and accurate finishing of assembled contigs into chromosomes."

After a human genome collaboration, the US firm will continue its work with BGI to use optical mapping to finish de novo sequencing for more genome analysis projects.

The funding will support efforts to expand into new markets and develop applications that "will complement sequencing technologies and help facilitate rapid completion of large genome mapping and finishing technologies," according to CEO Douglas White.

OpGen will use the funds to support marketing of its recently launched Argus Optical Mapping System for automated, microbial whole-genome analysis.

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Bioethicists disagree with a research team's decision to allow the return of risk results for adult-onset conditions from a newborn sequencing project, according to Reuters.

Alterations to particular gene may enable the Quechua of Peru to better tolerate high-altitude life, Ars Technica reports.

Nature News reports that additional South Korean researchers have included the names of children on scientific papers when they did not contribute to the work.

In PLOS this week: statistical approach to prioritize rare variant searches, gene expression alterations in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and more.