Institute also expands deal to receive upgrades to the system.

The Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine acquired seven additional Genome Sequencer FLX Systems (GS FLX) from 454 Life Sciences. Additionally, the center expanded their previous agreement with 454’s parent company, Roche, which allows it to obtain early updates on this system.

With 10 GS FLX Systems, the center will apply the technology to problems ranging from the deciphering of new genomes to the analysis of mutations associated with human diseases. “These instruments previously proved their capabilities in the arena of whole genome sequencing,” notes Richard Gibbs, professor and director of the center and a former member of the 454 Life Sciences scientific advisory board. “Now they have demonstrated their potential role in large-scale mutation detection.”

The GS FLX systems will also be applied to the analysis of bacterial genomes in an effort to analyze metagenomes, collections of bacteria that live in human hosts both normally and in infectious disease.

The center will also be eligible for system improvements to reagents and software, utilizing the same hardware configuration that is currently available and purchased as part of this agreement. Roche anticipates that there will be an increase in sequence read length beyond 400 base pairs. The net result will be a sequencing solution that generates more than 1 billion bases per day. Other improvements will focus on making it easier to routinely sequence human genomes.

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