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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Microbial Madness: Talks, Posters, and SMRTest Microbe Grant Program at ASM 2015

For some people, Mardi Gras and beignets are big attractions in New Orleans — but for us it’s all about the annual conference of the American Society for Microbiology. With more than 8,000 attendees, ASM 2015 will take place at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center from May 30 to June 2 and will feature some of the leading scientists in the field. At 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 31, in La Nouvelle Orleans Ballroom B, Jing Li from Tsinghua University will discuss the detection and importance of three DNA methylation motifs in the genome of Streptococcus pneumonia. Shortly after,…

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New MHAP Algorithm Delivers Fast, High-Quality Genome Assemblies

A new publication in Nature Biotechnology reports the development of a lightning-fast genome assembly pipeline optimized for long reads. Scientists from the University of Maryland and the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center created the MinHash Alignment Process, known as MHAP, to dramatically reduce assembly time and improve assembly quality. Their results are worth celebrating: assembly times were 600-fold faster compared to existing methods. “Using MHAP and the Celera Assembler, single-molecule sequencing can produce de novo near-complete eukaryotic assemblies that are 99.99% accurate when compared with available reference genomes,” the authors write. In the best cases, entire chromosome arms assembled…

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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Tutorial on the Iso-Seq Method: Applications, Protocol, and Experimental Design

If you missed our recent webinar on isoform sequencing with the PacBio® platform, we’ve made the full recording available for on-demand access. “Iso-Seq™ Method: Sample Prep and Experimental Design for Full-Length cDNA Sequencing” offers an overview of the application, along with specific sample prep tips, factors to consider when designing an experiment, and suggestions about what kinds of projects can take advantage of this method. Hosted by our own Tyson Clark, the webinar begins with a look at why it’s important to capture full-length transcripts. There are known human genes that have very different functions depending on which splice variant…

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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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