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Monday, November 14, 2016

First Look: Firefly Genome Sequencing Results

You may remember the firefly genome sequencing project, which was a finalist in our recent SMRT Grant competition and ultimately was crowdfunded through the Experiment site and our Genome Galaxy Initiative. We’re thoroughly enjoying the lab updates on this project, and couldn’t resist sharing this latest one from Team Firefly. In a jubilant note, the scientists report to their funders: “Good News! PacBio long-read sequencing data received.” The update is written with lots of great explanation about the basics of sequencing, analysis, and more for science enthusiasts. Our favorite part is the visualization of read length: the team included the…

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

At Genome in a Bottle Workshop, Progress on New Reference Materials

Genome in a Bottle consortium The National Institute of Standards and Technology held its latest Genome in a Bottle workshop last month in Gaithersburg, Md., and we were honored to attend. NIST has performed pivotal work to establish reference materials for the genomics community, starting with its RNA spike-in standards (ERCC spike-in controls) and continuing now with the GIAB consortium. These standards are essential for quality control and we’re pleased to be working with NIST to help ensure the highest accuracy in human genome sequencing.Last year, GIAB released its first reference standard, based on the well-studied NA12878 human genome (NIST RM…

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Attend Our Worldwide User Meetings & SMRT Informatics Developers Conference

If you’d like to hear about the latest applications of SMRT® Sequencing from users, we have several events coming up. Our worldwide user group meetings and workshops feature PacBio users sharing their latest research, tips, and protocols, as well as our staff providing training and updates on products and methods to optimize your research. We’re always humbled by the quality and variety of science presented at these meetings. And for the bioinformatics crowd, we have a new event in August focused on developing new analytical tools for PacBio® data. Here’s more detail on each event, including registration details: Americas East…

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Monday, May 4, 2015

PAG Grant Winner: Rainforest Tree Homalanthus nutans to get the SMRT Treatment

We’re pleased to announce the winner of our recent “Most Interesting Genome in the World” grant competition. Congratulations to Jay Keasling and Jeff Wong at the University of California, Berkeley! The grant program, which was supported by co-sponsors Sage Science, Computomics, and the Arizona Genomics Institute, was very competitive with more than 250 submitted proposals. Keasling and Wong will be awarded SMRT® Sequencing — using up to 40 SMRT Cells with BluePippin™ DNA size selection — for Homalanthus nutans, a small rainforest tree that grows in Samoa. The plant is critical as the source of a natural product called prostratin,…

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

AGBT Highlights, Day One: Advancing Human Reference Assembly & Sequencing in the Clinic

It is great to be here in Marco Island for the AGBT meeting! The 16th annual meeting hit the ground running with a pre-meeting workshop hosted by the Genome Reference Consortium (GRC) followed by an opening session that was more clinically focused than many attendees are used to at this tech-heavy conference. From the dynamic Q&A sessions, it was clear that these were precisely the kind of talks that people have been looking for as this meeting evolves downstream along with genomic science. The GRC workshop, entitled ‘Advancing the Human Reference Assembly’ included four speakers: Valerie Schneider (NCBI), Tina Graves-Lindsay…

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

PAG 2015: SMRT Sequencing and the “Most Interesting Genome” Grant Program

The 23rd annual International Plant and Animal Genome meeting is right around the corner – it’s taking place January 10-14 in sunny San Diego. The meeting has become an important venue for customers showcasing their Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing data on complex plant and animal genome projects. This year, more than 50 researchers from around the world will be presenting their work, many representing large consortium efforts, using SMRT Sequencing to assemble de novo references and/or to analyze complex genomes of a variety of plants and animals. This includes data generated with our Iso-Seq™ application for full-length transcript sequencing. …

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Monday, October 6, 2014

‘The Quality of PacBio Data Is Beyond Compare’: Eric Schadt on Applications of SMRT Sequencing to Human Genetics

As part of its continuing series on long-read sequencing, last week Mendelspod aired an engaging interview with Eric Schadt, Professor & Chair of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, and Director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at Mount Sinai. Having now spent three years in his role at the groundbreaking institute, he reports that they are making great progress in the quest to build better data-driven health profiles around individuals that may better guide healthcare choices. On short-read versus long-read sequencing Short-read sequencing technologies still maintain the advantage in terms of throughput, says Schadt, but there are a…

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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Science Perspective: “Tracking Antibiotic Resistance”

In the current issue of Science there is an interesting Perspective by Scott Beatson and Mark Walker of the University of Queensland discussing research published this week in Science Translational Medicine by Conlan et al. who used SMRT® Sequencing to track plasmid diversity of hospital-associated infectious bacteria at the NIH Clinical Center. The article provides a nice overview of the paper, including an explanation of the important role that plasmids play in spreading antibiotic resistance. They illustrate why short-read DNA sequencing technologies are insufficient in resolving them and long reads are necessary for this work. “Plasmids may be viewed as…

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Maryland Scientists Produce High-Quality, Cost-Effective Genome Assembly of Loa loa Roundworm Using SMRT Sequencing

A paper just released in BMC Genomics details what authors call “the most complete filarial nematode assembly published thus far at a fraction of the cost of previous efforts.” The project was performed using the PacBio® RS II DNA Sequencing System by scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Institute for Genome Sciences and the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In this genome sequencing effort, scientists generated a de novo assembly of Loa loa, a roundworm that infects humans. L. loa, transmitted to humans by deer flies, causes loiasis. The…

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

NIH Study: Finished Genomes Provide Actionable Data to Combat Spread of Drug-Resistant Bacteria

A study launched over concerns around hospital-acquired infections has led to a recommendation for better microbial screening of patients upon admission. The research, from scientists at several NIH institutes, found that cases of hospital-acquired infection were less common than cases where patients were likely already colonized but received false negative results from basic screening. The study was made possible by Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing, which allowed researchers to sequence plasmids and analyze their diversity and likely phylogeny. Short-read sequencing and strain-typing technologies could not provide the information necessary for a comprehensive analysis. “Single-molecule sequencing to track plasmid diversity of…

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Plant and Animal Genomes: New Web Resource Available

After so many compelling customer projects for microbial genomes, it’s been rewarding to see more scientists turning to Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing for larger genomes, such as plants and animals. Many PacBio users are performing de novo sequencing and assembly or upgrading draft genomes initially generated by short-read technologies. Extraordinarily long reads and throughput improvements have allowed scientists to affordably assemble and close genomes such as the Atlantic cod, spinach, and Orpinomyces, an anaerobic fungus found in the rumen of cows, to name a few. As reported by several customers at the 2014 Plant & Animal Genome conference in…

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

At ISMB, Gene Myers’ Keynote Offers History, Future of Genome Assembly

At ISMB 2014 in Boston earlier this month, Gene Myers of the Max-Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, presented a keynote address entitled “DNA Assembly: Past, Present, and Future.”  Myers received the prestigious Senior Scientist Accomplishment Award from the International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) at the event. The ISCB Senior Scientist Accomplishment Award honors respected leaders in computational biology and bioinformatics for their significant contributions to these fields through research, education, and service. Myers is being honored as the 2014 winner for his outstanding contributions to the bioinformatics community, particularly for his work on sequence comparison algorithms,…

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Optimizing Eukaryotic De Novo Genome Assembly: Webinar Recording Available

Our webinar on eukaryotic genome assembly attracted a great crowd, and now we’re making the full recording available to the community. The session featured great hands-on information and best practices for working with Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing data. “Optimizing Eukaryotic Genome Assembly with Long-Read Sequencing” featured three excellent speakers — Michael Schatz and James Gurtowski from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Sergey Koren from the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center — and was hosted by our own CSO Jonas Korlach. Schatz kicked off the session with an overview of assemblers for PacBio® data (as well as recommendations for…

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Unprecedented Read Length at the Icahn Institute:
Precise Sizing + SMRT Sequencing

At the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at Mount Sinai in New York City, technology development expert Robert Sebra, Ph.D., sees tremendous need for long-read, high-accuracy sequencing for use in microbial surveillance, detection of repeat expansions, and other research applications. To meet that demand, he relies on Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing from Pacific Biosciences with BluePippin™ automated DNA size selection from Sage Science. Together, these tools offer a powerful solution and industry-leading read lengths that allow Sebra and other researchers to resolve repeat elements and structural variants, rapidly close microbial genomes, and measure epigenetic marks. Sebra, an…

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Sequence Analysis Meeting: SFAF 2014

The Sequencing, Finishing, and Analysis in the Future (SFAF) meeting kicks off today in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The conference is hosted by Los Alamos National Laboratory and focuses on the analytical details that are so important as the community assesses how to get the most out of all this sequence data. This year, we will have two PacBio speakers, and there will be a number of other talks from users of our long-read sequence data. Steve Turner, our CTO, will speak on Wednesday morning about the use of Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing for generating highly contiguous genome assemblies…

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