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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Scientists Explore Extremophile Genome with SMRT Sequencing

[caption id="attachment_13897" align="alignright" width="300"] Photo by Liam Quinn[/caption] A recent Nature publication from a large team of scientists in Europe, Canada, and the US reports the use of SMRT Sequencing to elucidate the genome of Fragilariopsis cylindrus, a single-celled eukaryotic diatom adapted to living in polar waters of the Antarctic Ocean. The work has implications for the biotechnology industry, which looks to extremophiles as a potential source of important enzymes. “Evolutionary genomics of the cold-adapted diatom Fragilariopsis cylindrus” comes from lead author Thomas Mock, senior author Igor Grigoriev, and many collaborators at the University of East Anglia, Earlham Institute, Joint…

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

AGBT 2017, Day 2: Diploid Genomes, Deep Learning, and the PacBio Workshop

The second day of AGBT featured a number of great talks and posters, and also our user workshop called “Covering All the Bases with SMRT Sequencing.” We’d like to thank the hundreds of attendees who crowded into the room for this event! The workshop kicked off with Nezih Cereb, CEO of Histogenetics, who spoke about using long-read PacBio sequencing for typing HLA class I and II genes, which are important for applications such as matching organ transplants to recipients. The company has been performing industrial-scale SMRT Sequencing since it first acquired its PacBio RS II instrument, but recently increased capacity…

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Scientists Produce Reference Genome for Plasmodium, Update Phylogeny

A new Nature paper from scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and other institutions delves into two Plasmodium genomes and reveals novel information about how these parasites have evolved. SMRT Sequencing was used to generate a reference genome and high-quality draft assembly for the organisms, providing a clear picture of species that have previously been difficult to characterize. From lead author Gavin Rutledge, senior author Thomas Otto, and collaborators, “Plasmodium malariae and P. ovale genomes provide insights into malaria parasite evolution” reports that prior studies have “been hampered by a lack of genetic information” for species responsible for many malaria infections. The scientists deployed…

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Scientists Turn to SMRT Sequencing to Decode Chardonnay Genome

A case study produced by QRIScloud, an Australia-based cloud computing service, offers interesting insight into a recent project that is using SMRT Sequencing to generate a reference-quality de novo genome assembly for the grape used to make Chardonnay wine. The sequencing effort was conducted by collaborating scientists at the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) and the BC Genome Sciences Centre in Canada. This new assembly, which is still undergoing polishing and in-depth analysis, adds to very sparse genome resources for wine grapes. Until recently, the only genome assemblies available were draft-quality ones for the Pinot Noir varietal. With PacBio long-read…

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

CSHL Scientists Discuss Long-Read Sequencing for More Contiguous Assemblies and Complex Genomes

Much like the “sharpen” tool in Photoshop brings a picture into tighter focus and enhances the fine detail, long-read sequencing offers enhanced resolution of genomic information, according to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory colleagues Mike Schatz and Maria Nattestad. The scientists spoke with Mendelspod’s Theral Timpson about how long-read sequencing is advancing their research in unique and powerful ways; a brief recap of their conversation follows. Schatz uses PacBio sequencing to establish incredibly accurate assemblies of microbial, crop, animal, and human genomes. Indeed, SMRT technology has significantly improved his work on the flatworm Macrostomum lignano, an organism with regenerative powers. With…

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