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Jun 26, 2014

Roche, Stratos Partner on Development of Sequencing Method

  • Roche and Stratos Genomics entered into a research collaboration to further development of a method applied to single molecule sequencing of DNA fragments using protein nanopores.

    Stratos has pioneered a Sequencing By Expansion™ (SBX) method, which is a single molecule detection process that converts DNA into a larger surrogate molecule called an Xpandomer™. These Xpandomer molecules, 10–100 times longer than the original DNA, pass through a nanopore which has a detector to read out the signal. A polymerase can be used to synthesize the Xpandomers from a DNA template by incorporating customized expandable nucleotides and increasing the surrogate molecule through a rapid chemical reaction, according to the company.

    During the collaboration, a research team at Roche will work with Stratos scientists to support the development of efficient, low-cost sample preparation methods for DNA Xpandomers and also improve sequencing performance, by leveraging Roche’s expertise in protein design, polymerase mutagenesis, modified nucleotide chemistries, and rare reagent manufacturing.

    “The recent advancements of the SBX method for detection of single molecule reads using protein nanopore detectors further demonstrates the possibility of using single molecule platforms for whole-
    2/3 genome sequencing,” said Dan Zabrowski, head of the Roche Sequencing Unit.

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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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