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Omics! Omics! 06/29/2020 21:37
Last time, I covered Oxford Nanopore . London Calling was over a week ago, so the chance to scribble before its all old news is rapidly shrinking. As noted yesterday, Clive Brown didn't speak here but instead will broadcast at some future date; it was left to his top technical lieutenants to cover the developments in the platform which have happened since the Community Meeting in New York back in early December. I've tried to hit the highlights here, but don't claim to be comprehensive.
Omics! Omics! 06/24/2020 21:26
London Calling was last week, held online due to the pandemic. My plans to attend in person were one of a myriad of travel arrangements upended by the calamity, though that is utterly trivial in comparison to the tragedy of so many lost lives, damaged survivors and economic ruin. Attending remotely also made it harder to ignore my work duties, which are at a crescendo (well, not really: it's been this intense for months). But all the talks are available online, so I have stolen some time to review the Oxford Nanopore technology announcements. There wasn't a Clive Brown talk; apparently he will deliver a broadcast later this summer to tease us with more crazy ideas emerging from the ONT Skunk Works.
Omics! Omics! 05/29/2020 23:41
Ugh. I let the month of April slip away without writing and now have almost let May do the same. But some leftover euphoria from a huge experimental breakthrough on our current diagnostics project at the Gene Factory plus the feeling I shouldn't let news tied into an earlier post slip off, and here I am. When I wrote about based on their websites, I put Stratos Genomics near the front of the pack. Roche Molecular apparently agrees, s.
Omics! Omics! 03/30/2020 22:23
One of most truly useless pieces of information lodged in my brain is my zodiac sign; not once in my life have I had any interest in it. But, given the available draws, it isn't too bad, as it's also the name of perhaps the most underappreciated engineering project of the second half of the 20th Century: Project Gemini.
Omics! Omics! 03/21/2020 22:53
provoked a number of helpful comments, emails and conversations. While I would stand behind the statement that it left a light footprint, there are a number of interesting cases, some of which I would never have found by conventional means. Sometimes the collective wisdom of the internet is best for uncovering things, even when you're married to someone who catalogs books for a living.
Omics! Omics! 03/10/2020 08:41
This past fall there was a rumor that QIAGEN was being pursued by an acquirer, with the initial tip being scientific conglomerate ThermoFisher but then other possibilities floated by. QIAGEN was seen as ripe for such an action as their long-time CEO had stepped down. QIAGEN made a very public announcement that they would continue independently under their new CEO, but that is no longer the case: ThermoFisher will acquire them, pending regulatory approvals, for something around 11.5B.
Omics! Omics! 03/08/2020 20:10
AGBT ended over a week ago and I've been procrastinating ever since in going through notes and writing up companies. First few days I had the excuse of family time on beautiful Sanibel Island to the north, but since Monday other than obsessing about COVID-19 (and cancelling travel plans) I have no excuses. First up, the microfluidic library prep company , based on my notes from talking to their Chief Commercial Officer, Adam Lowe.
Omics! Omics! 03/07/2020 21:33
The still growing COVID-19 pandemic has reminded me of a question I've batted in my head a few times. In 1918 and 1919 a global influenza pandemic killed . The scale of the jump in flu deaths in the U.S. can be seen in . That's more than the number of civilians and military personnel estimated to have . Yet despite this, it would seem that there has been very little impact on culture (at least the culture I am aware of).
Omics! Omics! 02/26/2020 16:43
At some fancy restaurants one can get a "deconstructed dish". As I understand it, as I don't frequent such restaurants, a deconstructed BLT would have the bread, bacon, lettuce and tomato each as their own individual item, but prepared in a novel way which highlights the strengths of each ingredient. When I got a preview last night of Rade Drmanac's closing AGBT talk on achieving a $100 human genome (reagents price only), that was the vision I had: Drmanac and his team have created their Tx system by deconstructing the optical high throughput sequencing-by-synthesis instrument.
Omics! Omics! 02/22/2020 12:13
Friday morning I got excited because a p from MGI (aka BGI aka Complete Genomics). First announced in Fall 2018, this approach sounded, well, cool. Using fluorescently labeled antibodies specific to each reversible terminator seemed like a crazy pipe dream. So getting a good look at it in a manuscript is an event! But then Friday afternoon MGI had : launch of their sequencing systems in the U.S. later this year. Below is a quick run-down of the sequencer announcement; the pre-print has many details I'm still parsing.
Omics! Omics! 02/20/2020 22:21
AGBT looms ahead of me next week which serves as impetus to let fly an idea I've had simmering for a while: to look at sequencing startups by a particular type of information they choose to reveal. I'm not expecting any big announcements at AGBT from this space, though would be thrilled to be surprised. But there is the risk of getting contaminated with some on-the-sly scuttlebutt, so better to get this done now. By the way, in the full disclosure category, I have consulted for a few companies here and have NDAs either on my own or via employers; everything here is based on public information.
Omics! Omics! 02/18/2020 20:45
My last post discussed BioJulia in the face of a challenge from the new Seq programming language. Tonight I'm going to take a bit more of a look atand touch on both why I'm tempted to try it and why I remain reticent to do so. I hope if any of the Seq team sees this they will regard it as some parts constructive criticism and some parts market feedback.
Omics! Omics! 02/13/2020 22:39
There's a that is well worth reading, even if you don't use Julia or I'd argue if you don't actually program. It looks at an issue of performance that was raised with BioJulia and with fierce but respectful passion examines the critique and explores just why BioJulia didn't perform well in the comparison. In the end, this triggers a code review and a huge speed increase in the problematic areas -- which will widely benefit BioJulia users.
Omics! Omics! 02/11/2020 22:06
My qPCR explainer seems to have done relatively well, though it took some refinement after readers caught a number of errors. The most embarrassing of those is that I got my PCR ramp units upside down, so instead of 4 seconds or so per degree C it's degrees C per second so my times were off by a factor of 16! Ouch! Despite that miscue, I'm here going to explore some of the variants on PCR that are out there, including some that are being employed searching for the newly renamed COVID-19 virus. Included here are some of my own speculations and musings, so as always remember I'm someone who thinks about these things and sometimes talks other people into running them, but I haven't set up a PCR in 8 years. Also, the field of PCR variations for.
Omics! Omics! 02/01/2020 21:55
I've gotten in a number of Twitter threads and seen a lot of Quora questions about the qPCR test for the Wuhan coronavirus that I realized would really be best handled by writing an explainer. I'm intending it for financial types, reporters and anyone from the lay public interested in learning a bit more. For most regular readers of this blog, there won't be anything new to you. If you'd check me for accuracy, I'd be grateful but perhaps many will skip over this one. That also means I going to try to resist my usual urges to make lighthearted references to popular culture; they're a good way to be confusing.
Omics! Omics! 01/30/2020 22:53
A notion dawned on me when I was mentally planning g, but I decided to put off fleshing it out until a later date. After a bit of procrastination plus a crush of other ideas, here it is: Oxford Nanopore flowcell lineup has been a bit complicated for a while, but it's probably going to get worse. There's always been serious issues with the current level of complexity and it's hard to believe this will do anything but escalate.
Omics! Omics! 01/27/2020 22:31
Homopolymeric sequences have never been easy for any sequencing platform, but single molecule sequencers struggle the most with this. Oxford Nanopore has made remarkable strides in both raw an consensus accuracy via chemistry and software improvements, but still is challenged by systematic problems with homopolymers. The R10 series of pores is intended to significantly improve performance by having a longer narrow region to interact with more bases, and at the Nanopore Community Meeting there were several slides touting improved performance. Nanopore's slides have an X-axis that goes to 8. By happy circumstance, around that time we generated a large dataset on R10 and got results very similar to ONT's. Plus there's a available from Mads Alb.
Omics! Omics! 01/26/2020 19:55
I've made a few references recently to TELL-Seq, both in (I missed a key business development in their raising $18M in October; I stand by the science comments and fear that the fund raise buys them about a year of time) and on . Now to actually dig into that technology -- a bit late given the , but better late than never. So put on your , conjure up the image of and key up the , because here I go.
Omics! Omics! 01/23/2020 22:38
When playing with the structure of this piece in my mind, it occurred to me that Norman Maclean's apply just as well to biotechnology companies. It is also interesting that thoughts about fishing are often carried on in dialogue form where Hope and Fear -- or, many times, two Fears -- try to outweigh each other. The executive team at may well be gripped by this situation, as they are faced with two great perils: their finances and their markets.

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