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Feb 7, 2008

Applied Biosystems Collaborates with Geospiza and GenomeQuest to Address Next-Gen Sequencing Bioinformatics Hurdles

  • Applied Biosystems inked separate agreements with Geospiza® and GenomeQuest to help scientists address next-generation sequencing bioinformatics challenges. Geospiza® and GenomeQuest will develop tools that are expected to advance data analysis and management for customers utilizing the Applied Biosystems’ SOLiD™ System.

    Applied Biosystems is sharing file formats, sample data sets, and analysis pipeline information with Geospiza and GenomeQuest so that they may configure their products, services, and capabilities to address customer challenges. Specifically, the deal between Applied Biosystems and Geospiza is an expansion of their current relationship to include next-generation sequencing instrumentation. The agreement with GenomeQuest will provide an integrated sequence information platform allowing researchers to search and analyze genomic sequence data as a hosted service or as a hardware appliance.

    Geospiza has already developed software to automate sequencing workflows for capillary electrophoresis (CE) instrumentation. Now, the company will extend its Finch Suite® and its knowledge of 3130 Series Genetic Analyzers and 3730 Series DNA Analyzers to SOLiD System-specific IT infrastructure support, software, and tools with its new FinchLab™ Next Gen Edition product. Geospiza expects to support customers by processing both CE and SOLiD data through a single data processing pipeline. The firm says that eventually users will be able manage data to define experiments, track data through production, and process genetic analysis platforms in a scalable high-capacity storage system.

    GenomeQuest has an integrated solution based on its database of reference sequences that is expected to transform raw sequence data from the SOLiD System into information that will reveal insights resulting from the sequencing run. Its solution is also anticipated to enable customers to seek assistance with data alignment and analysis including SNP detection. In addition to increasing productivity, GenomeQuest’s solution will enable scalability as customers accelerate their use of next-generation genomic analysis platforms.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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