Monday, January 18, 2016

Illumina's MiniSeq Giveaway

This morning, Illumina announced a Scientific Challenge program as part of the launch of the MiniSeq sequencing instrument.  Three prizes will be given away, with 3 sequencing runs on MiniSeq as 3rd prize and a MiniSeq plus reagents for 3 runs as second prize, and a MiniSeq plus reagents for 3 runs plus a Mini Cooper automobile as the grand prize. Entrants in the contest will submit a proposal for how to they plan to use the instrument (but not the car; if you support future reagent purchases by being an Uber driver, that's your business). There will also be a set of iPad mini giveaways based on recommending colleagues to enter the contest on social media; if your recommendation results in an entry, then you are entered in the iPad giveaway.

Obviously, this is a twofer for Illumina.  They gain a lot of market research as to what applications folks think the MiniSeq is appropriate (beyond the obvious task of sequencing the genomes of Lego Mini Figures), plus they get a bunch of publicity. In this, I am, obviously, abetting them, having been given the program details under embargo. I'd be happier with the giveaway program I suggested,
but thems the breaks (perhaps I could at least get a supply of Mini M&Ms?  

Clearly in such a contest, it would pay to be very different than the pack. So put your thinking caps on.  Grab something from the minibar.  Park yourself near a pot of mini daffodils.  Draft a plan to use minimax algorithms or Minimus2  Will you target mini schnauzers or Ms. Mouse), and cook up an interesting scheme to use the newest sequencing box.  An investment of a few hours might yield a pair of new toys, one to drive in the lab and one to drive outside!

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