Monday, November 30, 2020

PacBio's Renewed Energy

When confronted by antitrust regulators last year, the core thesis of Illumina and Pacific Biosciences was that PacBio could not survive as an independent company.  After giving up on the merger, PacBio decided to dispute their own thesis -- and seem to be succeeding so far.  As highlighted at their recent "Global Summit" meeting, they have a new CEO, new financing and a burnished product offering.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Bioinformatics Exercise: Gene-Specific Ser Codon Usage

I saw a provocative abstract in PNAS about the usage of serine codons in E.coli that triggered the "this could make an interesting student exercise" (for my prior effort, see: Exercise: A Sequence Signature for Transcription-Translation Coupling in Bacteria?).  The paper is behind a paywall (though a relatively cheap one at $10) so I haven't actually read the paper, but the purposes here that isn't really a problem -- I'm not going to critique the paper, but just use the concept as a springboard.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Bionano Genomics: A Belated Update

Back before I can remember -- as in January of this year -- I wrote a piece on the challenging situation of BioNano Genomics.  I got an important detail wrong in that piece, missing some important fundraising, but in general from the point-of-view I took I thought it was a decent piece, meant to convey the challenge of a really amazing technology having its original market disappear.  Some commenters took strong exception to the piece and suggested I had not-so-pure motives for writing it.  They're wrong -- but at AGBT I got a chance to learn more about the company's new direction and how I hadn't been looking at things quite appropriately.  I should have written it up there, but working on a response to the pandemic started taking over my life and I let time slip away.  Preparing crow to be eaten also tends to be procrastinated.  But here, finally, is a re-look at the company (and, I drafted this over a month ago and never finished -- the procrastination drags on...)

I was a bit nervous strolling into the BioNano Genomics booth at Marco Island.  Maybe they were the ones so offended by the piece.  But no, they actually invited me to come to a morning talk and to chat afterwards, and were completely professional and cordial and made it clear they understood the angle I had taken as a sincere journalistic approach.  But not only did I hear the talk then, but I had gotten a preview the night before in the Twist Suite, which also illustrates a key card BioNano has: a collaboration with Alexander Hoischen