Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Does Illumina Have A Sequence Diversity Problem?

Roughly speaking, NGS sample preparation workflows can be split into two basic classes of workflows.  Complete molecule workflows are currently suitable for microRNAs and other small fragments at the moment, but attempt to capture the entire molecule.  With luck, long read technologies will someday make these the standard.  Fragment workflows are the workhorse, and take input material (RNA, DNA) and convert them into a library of fragments representing (or directly from) the original material. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

BGI Gobbles Complete Genomics

An email this morning alerted me that BGI Shenzhen is acquiring Complete Genomics.  I hadn't been following Complete's business very carefully and had missed (or forgotten about) their quarterly report in August warning that they were dangerously low on cash and had engaged a firm to look at strategic alternatives.  If you are holding Complete Shares (with the wonderful ticker symbol GNOM), you'll get $3.15 cash for each for them.  If you were unfortunate enough to buy them at the top, that's over $11 a share in capital loss to put on next year's tax returns.  I'm not one to watch stock prices closely.  Buy-and-hold an index fund is my primary investment strategy; A Random Walk on Wall Street is the best route to sound sleeping and good returns.  I've never held any GNOM stock.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Shameless cancer quacks

A news item meant to shock its readers caught my eye, but in the end I was shocked and sickened in a way that I think lay far beyond the writer's intent.  The writer's tale is of a desperate family of a cancer-stricken teenager being taken advantage of by a fame-seeking hoaxer; the tale I read is of a desperate family of a cancer-stricken teenager being fleeced by cancer quacks.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Is Cambridge Almost Full?

If you tour around the extended Kendall Square area of Cambridge, you'll find a number of large construction sites.  Various projects for Pfizer, Biogen, Novartis and more speculative projects are consuming most of the large surface parking lots in the area, and many that are yet untouched (such as the one next to Starbase Athenaeum)  are marked out for development.  There are a number of single story buildings, such as the bank by the Kendall T-stop, which seem likely to also become such sites.  However, on the outskirts of Cambridge just such a proposal has kicked up a serious hornet's nest, and one that suggests that the biotech (and tech) real estate boom here may soon hit a serious wall.