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Sequencing from a Single Cell with Minimal Errors!

“most human genomes are sequenced from DNA extracted from multiple cells, which misses the differences between cells that could be crucial to controlling gene expression, cell behavior and drug response.” Nicolas Navin is now sequencing from a single cell with minimal errors! Molecular Biology has come a long way over the past decade!

memoirs on a rainy day


Nicolas Navin wanted to work out the sequence from individual cancer cells to see how they had mutated and diverged as the cancer grew. Back in 2010, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York and exploring the genetic changes that occur during breast cancer.

Read more @ SciTechDaily

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Is Whole Genome Sequencing Data Private of Not?

“What information about an individual’s whole genome should remain private, and when should it remain private?” This blog post by One Crown Office Row addresses the issue of Whole Genome Sequencing and how it will affect the 7 billion people on the planet. How will we protect WGS data?

UK Human Rights Blog

DNA database impact on human rights

I have posted previously on the logistical difficulties in legislating against genetic discrimination.

The prospect that genetic information not only affects insurance and employment opportunities is alarming enough. But it has many other implications: it could be used to deny financial backing or loan approval, educational opportunities, sports eligibility, military accession, or adoption eligibility.  At the moment,  the number of documented cases of discrimination on the basis of genetic test results is small. This is probably due to the relatively few conditions for which there are currently definitive genetic tests, coupled with the expense and difficulty of conducting these tests. But genetic discrimination is a time bomb waiting to be triggered and the implications of whole genome sequencing (WGS) are considered in a very interesting and readable report by the US Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues  Privacy and Progress in Whole Genome Sequencing. 

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Promega offers STR Analysis for Forensic and Paternity Testing

PowerPlex® Fusion System
A five-color fluorescent system that co-amplifies 23 STR loci and Amelogenin, including the CODIS core loci and European Standard Set loci. The system offers the highest discrimination from a single reaction and delivers more information for demanding forensic, paternity and relationship testing cases.

PowerPlex® Y23 System
The PowerPlex® Y23 system is a rapid human identification Y-STR assay for forensic casework, offender databasing and relationship testing. The five-color system uses rapid cycling to co-amplify 23 Y-STR loci and direct-amplification protocols for common sample types.

SwabSolution™ and PunchSolution™ Kits and AmpSolution™ Reagent
The SwabSolution™ Kit, PunchSolution™ Kit and AmpSolution™ Reagent are used to process swabs and storage card punches for direct amplification using PowerPlex® Systems.

PowerPlex® 21 System
A rapid human identification STR system for forensic casework, offender databasing and relationship testing.

PowerPlex® 18D System
The PowerPlex® 18D System allows direct amplification and four-color fluorescent detection of seventeen STR loci and Amelogenin. The reduced amplification time allows easier and faster genotyping for database and paternity laboratories.

PowerPlex® ESX and ESI Systems
These five-dye systems amplify the ENFSI-recommended loci and allow DNA profile sharing across Europe

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The young scientists of tomorrow in a workshop for today

Wellcome Trust Blog

‘A Question of Taste’ is a molecular biology and evolution workshop for students aged 16+.  At Nowgen, instead of using public engagement specialists, the workshop is led primarily by PhD students, helping make the workshop more ‘authentic’ and providing a platform for young scientists to engage with school students.

Here, four researchers from The University of Manchester share their thoughts on why they think it’s good to engage.

The day begins at 10am with the students arriving at The Nowgen Centre. After students have signed in and put away their coats and bags, lab coats are donned and the fun begins!

The first part of the day (and possible highlight) involves the taste test: each student tastes two strips of paper, one control and one coated in phenylthiocarbamide (PTC). PTC tastes bitter to some people yet is tasteless to others; this differing response frames the day’s engaging practical activities and discussions…

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Genomics Software – An Overview

Genomics Software

Genomics software is used by scientists and clinicians to analyze genomes.  In other words, it is software that helps laboratory personnel to make sense of large amounts of DNA sequence data.

Since the throughput of sequencers has risen greatly in recent years, along with even more striking decreases in the cost of both sequencers and sequencing run, many more genomes are being sequenced than ever before.  This has created a situation where genomic data is generated faster than it can be analyzed.  Genomics software was a creature of necessity to help analyze, manage, and store these troves of genetic data.

Genomics software can serve a multitude of purposes.  It can provide primary analysis on sequenced genomes (generally QA and related stats), it can perform secondary analysis (things like mutation identification, finding short tandem repeats, and identifying other genomic abnormalities), or more rarely perform tertiary analysis (providing insight into the meaning…

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