Notes from the NCI’s Third Symposium on Translational Genomics

Living in the Washington DC area is a privilege. As a native Californian who has been on the East Coast for about 7 years now, living in the Mid-Atlantic has been so enjoyable for many professional and personal reasons. A case in point is proximity to the National Institutes of […]

Edison Liu, director of Jackson Laboratories Center for Personalized Medicine, at the NCI Third Symposium on Translational Genomics

WaferGen's collection device

WaferGen SmartChip TE™ – a PCR-based approach to target enrichment 2

WaferGen is a California Bay-Area company that originally developed an idea similar to BioTrove, which was to create a solid substrate with nanoliter-sized wells for high throughput real-time PCR. WaferGen’s SmartChip™ has 5,184 wells (that’s a 54 multiple of 96), while BioTrove’s OpenArray™ has 3,072 (that’s a 32 multiple of […]


Ion Chef™ System ships to first customers 1

Way back when I was pouring 35S-labeled dNTP Sanger sequencing polyacrylamide gels (and fond memories of using reagents like degassed acrylamide, TEMED and Silane), robotic automation was at that time only in an industrial or manufacturing context. Now there are many automated liquid handling companies (for example Beckman is a […]

Ion Chef screencapture from this YouTube video.

Revised version of a PII and NextSeq 500 comparison chart

Some clarifications about Ion Torrent PII and NextSeq 500 2

Yesterday’s Ion Torrent Proton PII™ and Illumina NextSeq 500™ post certainly got a reaction from several quarters, including detailed pricing information about the 1x75bp format for the high-throughput configuration on the consumables. Instead of making edits to the original here are some clarifying points, as it is clear that Illumina […]


The upcoming Proton PII and the NextSeq 500 11

There has been a lot of publicity around the NextSeq 500 from Illumina, and it appears to have been designed to compete directly against Ion Torrent’s upcoming PII chip. Thanks to a visit to upstate New York last week, I met Dr. Sridar Chittur who told me how important it […]

Record PI runs with a 20.5GB at the top, from the Ion Community site

Close-up of Nabsys Chip

Nabsys single molecule mapping technology

Another interesting single-molecule technology is a company out of Providence (RI) called Nabsys. For several years I had heard the name involved in developing single-molecule sequencing technology, and this technology will start its initial product around genomic mapping, rather than sequencing. For background on genomic mapping and CNV analysis along […]


Targeted RNA Sequencing Approaches 1

There are several commercial methods for looking at 10’s or 100’s of gene expression levels via a high throughput TaqMan™ assay from Life Technologies / Thermo Fisher Scientific, a competitive offering from Roche, Douglas Scientific, or also Fluidigm. The limitation of these technologies however is the amount of multiplexing a […]

Happiness is getting more of what you want, in RNA-Seq as in other things...

Standing in front of the CLiC LP at AGBT

Gen Cell Biosystems’ CLiC NGS Library liquid handler at AGBT 2014 1

One of the most interesting liquid handling technologies I’ve seen in a while was from a Limerick (Ireland) company called Gen Cell Biosystems. As a person who used to hear all about Laboratory Automation from the BioRobot™ folks in my days at QIAGEN, as well as the Society for Biomolecular […]