Monday, June 29, 2020

Virtual London Calling, Veritably Late, Part II: Platform Development

Last time, I covered Oxford Nanopore LamPORE COVID-19 detection scheme.  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.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Virtual London Calling, Veritably Late Copy: Part I, LamPORE

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.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Roche Expands Sequencing Nanopore Presence by Acquiring Stratos Genomics

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 sequencer startups back in February based on their websites, I put Stratos Genomics near the front of the pack.  Roche Molecular apparently agrees, announcing a week ago that they are acquiring Stratos.

Monday, March 30, 2020

One Gemini Celebrates Another

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

Saturday, March 21, 2020

1918 Flu Pandemic & Popular Culture: Take Two

My piece on the near amnesia in U.S. culture of the 1918-19 Influenza pandemic 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.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

This Time ThermoFisher Catches QIAGEN

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

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Post-AGBT: Miroculus

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 Miroculus, based on my notes from talking to their Chief Commercial Officer, Adam Lowe