Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Post AGBT: A Longish Item on Long Sequencing

As others have noted, a significant theme at AGBT this year was sequencing at length.  While this year lacked true bombshells, PacBio impressed many with their making single-contig bacterial genome assemblies look easy.  Moleculo had been the object of much pre-meeting excitement, and while very few additional details emerged about their process, several talks showed what could be done.  As I have discussed previously, Nabsys demonstrated their “positional sequencing” system to select invitees in a hotel suite.  Optical mapping from OpGen and BioNano Genomics featured in a few posters, but did not attract much attention.  Oxford Nanopore had no physical presence, beyond a somewhat secretive suite, but several ONT staffers were happy to reiterate their confidence that they will launch their system – when it is good and ready.

Friday, February 22, 2013

AGBT: Nabsys unveiled

In the previous post I described the Nabsys positional sequencer. Yesterday I got o see it running in their hotel suite here at AGBT13.

Monday, February 18, 2013

AGBT Preview: Nabsys

A complaint which seems to be circulating on Twitter and elsewhere is that this year’s AGBT conference on Marco Island next week doesn’t look like it will have any excitement around new platforms.  AGBT has been a traditional coming out party for platforms.  Last year it was Oxford Nanopore which created a huge buzz, and in previous years that crown has been held by Ion Torrent, Pacific Biosciences, Complete Genomics and others (including a few which seem to have gone kaput).

It is hard to argue that this year’s program is much more heavily tilted towards applications of genomics than novel genomic technologies.  Many of the genomic technology talks are updates on the evolution of existing platforms such as PacBio and Illumina (especially the Moleculo technology).  But, there will also be novel technologies.  

This past fall I had the pleasure of spending half a day with the folks at Nabsys, located a short distance from Boston in Providence RI.  Nabsys’s buildings are in a sea of drab parking lots (not to mention sheriff’s cars; a courthouse is nearby), but on the interior were quite pleasant.  I was largely wearing my “day job” hat that day, but Nabsys will be unveiling their instrument at AGBT and has given me permission to talk about what I saw (and reviewed what I've written to make sure I didn't make some dumb errors, though the content is all mine).  Of course, I will update this after I look some more at AGBT.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Matthew Yuricich: A Pre-Oscar Tribute

I'm committing myself this week to an uncommon intensity of posting.  It's AGBT week, and while I'm there I plan to be busy both here and on Twitter.  Genomics has always been the focus of this space, but once in a while I beg the readers' indulgence while I write on something else.  Just after AGBT comes the Oscars, and in the likely case I'm completely exhausted (though sitting much more comfortably than I was for last year's Oscars), I want to scribble a long-overdue tribute.  For when the montage appears of previous winners who died since the last telecast, I'll be looking for the only Oscar awardee I ever met.  The nature of his work meant that many are utterly unaware of it, but he contributed significantly to the visual spectacle of many films, including one which influenced the look of a vast number of films of the same genre that followed it.  

Friday, February 15, 2013

Moving day

I was originally going to start this with a joke alluding to one of the signature special effects of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but given the recent events in Russia it's probably in poor taste to speak lightly of flashes in the sky.  But, after much preparation, today was the day that Warp Drive Bio completed packing up, with next week ushering in our new facility.