Tuesday 20 October 2015

Why do you read science blogs: a research project funded by Experiment

This is not wholly a direct request for feedback on the Core Genomics blog! Dr. Paige Jarreau from LSU is surveying science blog readers about their social media habits and perceptions of the science blogs they read. Her project is funded partly through Experiment: the kick-starter of the experimental world. Her project brought this platform to my attention and it looks pretty cool (see the latter part of this post).


Tuesday 6 October 2015

X Ten: now available for non-Human

Finally. Today Illumina announced that X Ten users can perform whole-genome sequencing of non-human species. Does this mean exomes and RNA-seq are on their way to X Ten? Or that an X One is going to be announced at JP Morgan? I might just hold off on buying that shiny new HiSeq 4000 until this is a bit clearer.

For small to medium labs the X Ten and even X Five were the stuff of dreams and nightmares. Dreams of what would be possible with this technology; nightmares of what might happen to smaller labs.

The dreams turned out to be true and the nightmares have pretty much gone away. But the rapid developments from Illumina continue to be difficult to keep up with. I only wrote about the performance of HiSeq 2500 V4 chemistry a little over a year ago, and it looks like we'll ditch it in favour of HiSeq 4000 in 2016.

The link on Illumina's webpage does not appear to be live just yet but I'm sure we'll hear more in the next couple of days.

PS: If your Wheat, Horse, Whale, etc, etc, etc genome sequencing grant just got approved you can look forward to a nice slush fund. Time to buy that Apple watch maybe?

Friday 2 October 2015

Pub-Bed: beds, not papers

Would you stay at the home of another academic you had some loose connection with? Could the Airbnb model be successfully applied to help find accommodation for scientists travelling to meetings, visiting another lab, or even for longer sabbatical stays? I'm not sure but Pub-Bed was born from an idea I cooked up on the train.

Thursday 1 October 2015

The new Pacific Biosciences sequencer

PacBio announced a baby RSII yesterday, which should be in the shops just in time for Christmas! The Sequel System (sounds like SequalPrep from Thermo for PCR cleanup) sounds like a big advance on the enormous RSII. Most aspects of the sequencing work flow are unchanged. Sequel has been developed as part of the collaboration with Roche to develop a diagnostics instrument, milestone payments of $20-40M are expected on the back of this.
  • $350,000 for Sequel (versus $1,000,000 for RSII)
  • Seven times more reads than RSII
  • 1/3rd the size and weight (so only 2000 or so MinIONs will fit inside)
  • New SMRT cells with 1,000,000 ZMWs compared to RSII's 150,000