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Saturday, February 15, 2014

AGBT Day 1 & 2 Highlights: Hello GRCh38 & SMRT Sequencing for Pathogen Screening

AGBT 2014 is off to a roaring start - the opening reception was hastily moved indoors when an impressive thunderstorm joined the party. Wednesday’s kickoff plenary session offered an insightful view of the recently released human genome reference, known as GRCh38, which is available with GenBank accession GCA_000001405.15. Valerie Schneider from the National Center for Biotechnology Information gave a presentation on the latest build, highlighting improvements that range from alternate loci to modeled centromeres to error correction of individual bases. The Genome Reference Consortium resolved more than 1,000 reported issues from build 37 with the release of this new build…

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Data Release: ~54x Long-Read Coverage for PacBio-only De Novo Human Genome Assembly

We are pleased to make publicly available a new shotgun sequence dataset of long PacBio® reads from a human DNA sample. We previously released sequence data using Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing of ~10x coverage of this sample, sufficient for reference-based detection of structural variation. Today we expand on that release with additional data that increases the total sequencing coverage to ~54x.  This long-read data has enabled the generation of the first de novo human genome assembly from PacBio-only sequence reads. Download the 54x long-read coverage dataset. The dataset was generated from sequencing a well-studied human cell line (CHM1htert), which…

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

AGBT 2014 Preview: Long reads, long flight, long days!

We are flying cross-country to Marco Island, Florida, to attend the fifteenth annual Advances in Genome Biology and Technology conference and, as we have done for years now, we are proud to be sponsoring the event. This year we look forward to connecting with the many researchers who already work with SMRT® Sequencing data, and to meeting others whose scientific efforts could benefit from our technology’s uniquely long reads and base modification information. Here are some of the presentations we’ll be attending: Evan Eichler, University of Washington, “Advances in Sequencing Technology Identify New Mutations, Genes and Pathways Related to Autism” …

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Genome Research Paper: Resolve Complex Genomic Regions for a ‘Fraction of the Cost’ With SMRT Sequencing

A new Genome Research paper describes the application of Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing to resolve repeat-heavy genomic regions in important reference genomes such as human and chimpanzee. In the process, the authors drew some important conclusions about cost, pooling, and coverage requirements for this type of work. “Reconstructing complex regions of genomes using long-read sequencing technology” comes from lead author John Huddleston and senior author Evan Eichler at the University of Washington, along with collaborators at Washington University, the University of Bari, Bilkent University, and Pacific Biosciences. In the paper, Eichler and his collaborators note the steep cost of…

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Looking Ahead: The 2014 PacBio Technology Roadmap

By Jonas Korlach, Chief Scientific Officer 2013 was an eventful and exciting year for PacBio. As I described in the 2013 roadmap post a year ago, we have applied numerous improvements to SMRT® Sequencing, resulting in longer read lengths, greater sequencing throughput, new and improved data-analysis methods, and more efficient workflows. We are very pleased that these advances resulted in so many publications, conference presentations, and social media contributions, with the number of peer-reviewed scientific publications from the scientific community now exceeding 100. On behalf of all of us at Pacific Biosciences, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude…

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Breakpoint Detection in Cancer Structural Variants with PacBio May Yield Patient-Specific Data

A new publication from scientists at the University of California, San Diego, demonstrates the use of Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing to identify structural variation (SV) breakpoints in cancer. “Amplification and thrifty single molecule sequencing of recurrent somatic structural variations” was published in Genome Research and comes from authors Anand Patel, Richard Schwab, Yu-Tsueng Liu, and Vineet Bafna. In the paper, the scientists report development of a new method — Amplification of Breakpoints, or AmBre — to detect important structural variant breakpoints. AmBre relies on a PCR-based approach for amplification of the structural variant, followed by sequencing on the PacBio®…

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

In RNA-seq Study, Long PacBio Reads Allow for Detection of Full-Length and Novel Isoforms

A new paper out in PNAS details the usefulness of long reads for isoform sequencing. “Characterization of the human ESC transcriptome by hybrid sequencing” comes from lead author Kin Fai Au and senior author Wing Wong at Stanford University as well as a number of collaborators. The authors detail the problem that they see with current RNA-seq studies: the inability to capture full-length mRNA isoforms (averaging about 2,500 bases) by using reads of just a few hundred base pairs. “We are still far from achieving the original goals of RNA-Seq analysis, namely the de novo discovery of genes, the assembly…

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New Publication Demonstrates Long-Read Sequences Needed to Thoroughly Resolve Short Tandem Repeats

In a new paper reporting a protocol for using short-read sequence data to locate short tandem repeats (STRs), scientists find that long-read sequence information is necessary to resolve regions with repeat complexity, extreme GC content, and other challenging factors. Their solution is to use short-read data to find STRs, and then to use long-read sequencing to fully characterize those repeat expansions. The Bioinformatics publication is entitled “Rapid detection of expanded short tandem repeats in personal genomics using hybrid sequencing” and came from scientists Koichiro Doi, Shinichi Morishita, et al. at the University of Tokyo. They focused on resolving STRs across…

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

ASHG Workshop Recordings: Resolving Structural Variation in Human Genomes

We hosted a structural varation workshop at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics, and were pleased to see that the speakers' presentations really resonated with attendees – the event was standing-room-only! Jonas Korlach, PacBio CSO, opened the session by sharing a brief update on SMRT® technology, noting that the new P5-C3 chemistry delivers 50% of bases in 10 kb or longer reads. View presentation recording Evan Eichler, Howard Hughes Medical Investigator from the University of Washington discussed his use of the PacBio® system to study difficult-to-sequence regions of the human and chimp genomes. Eichler has identified a…

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Event Recap: Fall User Group Meeting Presentations & Review

In September we were excited to have 100+ customers gather in Palo Alto, Calif., to discuss their use of Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing and hear about what’s next for the PacBio® RS II. Many thanks to all the scientists who attended and shared their experiences. For anyone who couldn’t make it, we’ve included some highlights from each talk below (and links to full presentations when possible): Chongyuan Luo from the Ecker lab at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies spoke about studying the genome and epigenome of several Arabidopsis thaliana strains using SMRT Sequencing. Luo noted that Arabidopsis is…

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Data Release: Long-Read Shotgun Sequencing of a Human Genome

In order to help evaluate the utility of long, unbiased sequence reads for characterizing structural variation in the human genome using our recently released P5-C3 scaffolding sequencing chemistry, we have collected 10x long-read, shotgun coverage of a human genome sample. The human genome harbors many structural variations, including variable number tandem repeats, deletions, insertions, inversions, and repetitive mobile elements, which are often difficult to resolve using short-read technologies. We hope this data set will be of value to the bioinformatic and scientific community studying various forms of structural variation across the human genome. To access the full data set, simply…

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Stanford Team Finds Novel Transcripts Using Long-Read Isoform Sequencing

An advance online publication in Nature Biotechnology from Michael Snyder’s lab at Stanford University demonstrates the utility of long-read sequencing for assessing transcribed regions across the human genome. Long PacBio reads were able to completely cover full-length RNA molecules, characterizing genetic regions that have not been previously annotated. The paper, entitled “A single-molecule long-read survey of the human transcriptome,” reports the application of Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing to studying RNA, comparing it to results from libraries sequenced with a 454® instrument. The scientists sequenced cDNA synthesized from pooled RNA gathered from 20 human organs and tissues in order to…

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Resolving Complex Regions in the Human Genome: SMRT Sequencing Fills Major Mucin Gap

Scientists from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, and other institutions have teamed up to sequence an important region of the human genome that has until now proven impenetrable. In a paper entitled “Genome Reference and Sequence Variation in the Large Repetitive Central Exon of Human MUC5AC,” published in the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology, corresponding authors Wanda O’Neal and Judith Voynow along with their collaborators describe the use of Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing to characterize a complex mucin exon. MUC5AC, located on the P arm of chromosome 11, encodes one of the…

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Characterizing Structural Variation in the Human Genome: ASHG 2013 Workshop and Presentations

We are excited to participate in the annual American Society of Human Genetics meeting again this year on October 22-26 in Boston, MA. With so many new PacBio® technology advances since last year, we wanted to give you a preview of how users are applying SMRT® Sequencing to better elucidate a variety of complex regions in the human genome. On Thursday, October 24, we’ll be hosting a luncheon workshop from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. entitled ‘Characterizing Structural Variation in the Human Genome Using Long-Read SMRT Sequencing.’ Join us in room 152 of the convention center (BCEC) to hear from…

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

AGBT Day 3 Highlights: Long-Read Sequence Data Makes a Difference for Human, Crop Studies

The third day of sessions has wrapped up at AGBT, and we’ve got one day left to go. It’s the last leg of the marathon! We’ve been having a great time here, enjoying the opportunity to meet with old friends and make new acquaintances as well. Today’s talks included two of particular interest to us: one from Eric Schadt and another from Mike Schatz. Eric Schadt, founder and director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, gave a talk during the afternoon session entitled “Whole Human Genome SMRT® Sequencing…

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