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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

At ASHI 2014, SMRT Sequencing Meets HLA Typing with Great Results

Earlier this fall, we headed to Denver for ASHI, or the annual meeting of the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics. Though we’d attended this conference in the past, this was our first year having an exhibit hall booth and workshop, both of which were enthusiastically received by the conference attendees. Even though it’s a fairly recent development for scientists to apply the PacBio® sequencing platform to analyze the HLA genes, which are often used in histocompatibility research studies, there were already many great examples and exciting data generated by users on the PacBio platform. Our luncheon workshop on fully…

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Review Article: Long-Read Sequencing Offers Better Understanding of Pluripotency

A new review article offers a nice overview of attempts to characterize the transcriptome of human stem cells using RNA-seq, the Iso-Seq™ method, and more. Kin Fai Au and Vittorio Sebastiano, scientists at the University of Iowa and Stanford University, respectively, contributed the review to Current Opinion in Genetics & Development. “The introduction of the RNA-Seq technology based on [second-generation sequencing technology] has provided a remarkable step forward providing a fast and inexpensive way to determine the transcriptome of a given cell type and several remarkable works have been done using this type of approach,” Au and Sebastiano write. “Nonetheless…

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

A New Reference Genome for Shigella: SMRT Sequencing of a Historic Sample

In a special issue of The Lancet dedicated to World War I, an article by scientists from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute used Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT®) Sequencing to decode the genome of the first isolate ever collected of Shigella flexneri. The bacterium, a descendant of E. coli and first identified as a separate strain in 1902, was responsible for severe dysentery among World War I troops due to poor hygienic conditions in the trenches. Today, S. flexneri is one of the leading causes of diarrheal death among children in developing countries and other areas of poor sanitation. Hoping to…

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