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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Research Studies Use Sequencing to Track Path of Infection Outbreaks

A talk at last week’s ASM conference continued the recent trend of scientists using Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing in research projects designed to better understand the transmission path of hospital-acquired infections. The presentation, entitled “Tracking Hospital Patients and Environment with Complete Genome Sequencing of Carbapenem-Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae and other Enterobacteriaceae,” came from Julie Segre, a chief investigator at the National Human Genome Research Institute. Segre spoke of Klebsiella as “the nightmare bug.” From the earliest reports of it in 2001, it is now in more than 40 states in the US and shows strong resistance to antibiotics. The study…

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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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Thursday, May 22, 2014

At ASM, Pioneering Scientists Presented Bacterial Methylome Highlights

This week’s annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology was every bit as interesting, data-rich, and jam-packed as promised. We’re grateful to everyone who stopped by our booth and got to know more about Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing. Our favorite session, “Bacterial Methylomes,” took place on the last day of the conference and was organized by Rich Roberts, Nobel laureate and Chief Scientific Officer at New England Biolabs. The session highlighted several projects analyzing genome-wide methylation states of bacteria, a task which has been all but impossible due to the technical inability to detect such base modifications. As…

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Preview –
SMRTest Microbe Grant Program

We’re getting ready for next week’s annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. Thousands of microbiologists from around the world will be gathering in Boston for the event, which is widely recognized as the leading conference for the field. At last year’s ASM meeting, we hosted our first-ever grant program for scientists hoping to use Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing for their microbe of interest. The winner for that SMRT Grant was Michael Nelson from the University of Connecticut. Nelson received free SMRT Cells and project support to sequence a putative novel Bacteroidete genus with importance to the digestive…

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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A New Approach for HLA Typing: SMRT Sequencing

Two recent news announcements demonstrate the utility of our Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing technology in the challenging realm of HLA typing.  HLA typing — or analysis of genes in the human leukocyte antigen region of the human genome — is of critical importance for research in tissue transplantation matching, autoimmune disease-association studies, drug hypersensitivity research, and other applications. But analyzing those genes, which are highly polymorphic and contain thousands of alleles that code for proteins important in recognizing foreign antigens, has proven difficult with most technologies. Use of Sanger or short-read sequencing technologies has required other methods for confirmation…

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Retroviral Study Reveals Potential for Influencing HIV Replication

Scientists from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City and the MRC National Institute for Medical Research in London published a paper using Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing to gain a better understanding of how human endogenous retroviruses may be interacting with HIV infection. They pursued a new avenue of research that could shed light on how to interfere with HIV replication. “HIV-1 interacts with HERV-K (HML-2) Envelopes derived from human primary lymphocytes” was recently published in the Journal of Virology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. Daria Brinzevich and George R. Young…

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Monday, May 5, 2014

Webinar Recap: New Insights in Genome and Transcriptome Research

This week, our CSO Jonas Korlach hosted a webinar entitled “Gain New Insights in Genome and Transcriptome Research with Greater than 10,000 bp Reads.” He spoke to attendees about the PacBio® technology, elements of sequencing, and applications of the ultra-long reads generated by Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing. Here’s a quick recap. Jonas offered a look at how PacBio’s technology performs in the four key sequencing characteristics that one should consider for any sequencing work: contiguity, accuracy, uniformity, and originality. For contiguity, or how much of a DNA fragment can be sequenced in a single pass, the PacBio platform outperforms…

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