Healthcare Information Technology,Personalized Medicine

Illumina and Glenn Close Announce the First Full Coverage DNA Sequencing of a Named Female11 Mar

In a brilliant piece of co-marketing, Glenn Close and sequencing giant Illumina announce the full coverage DNA sequencing of her genome. How many more people do you think there are this morning asking if they should have their full genome sequenced? And do you think our Health IT systems are ready for this?

Personalized Medicine

Scientists Discover Causative Genetic Mutation Associated with Common Inherited Neurological Disorder10 Mar

In an exciting application of whole genome sequencing technologies, Richard Gibbs and James Lupski from Baylor used Life Tech’s SOLiD system to find the mutation implicated in Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT), a neurological disorder that currently affects 1 in 2,500 individuals in the United States. This acts as a proof of concept for whole genome sequencing as a diagnostic for human disease.

Personalized Medicine

A disposable assay?05 Mar

Startup Nanosphere in Northbrook Illinois has developed an entire assay in a small disposable package.

Nanosphere Test Cartridge Image 

Nanosphere uses a gold nanosphere probe to pack an entire assay – for a specific SNP or protein segment – into a small disposable package, and are targeting the pharmacogenetics and oncology market. Unfortunately, identifying whether the target is in the sample or not requires popping the cartridge into their reader for interpretation, but I would imagine their business case is that once the cartridge is used and the slide prepared it can then be sent away to a lab for analysis, and the slide might be more stable than biological sample.

Interestingly, the product already has FDA approval. Hmmm.

More on this product from MIT Technology Review at

Industry Updates

Arena Gets October FDA Deadline | Xconomy02 Mar

The big date is coming for local biotech Arena and its obesity
management candidate lorcaserin. October 22 is the date by which the
FDA will review their application and determine whether Arena has a
viable product or if it’s back to the drawing board. Either way it
will be a big turning point for the company, and exciting times for
San Diego biotech.

Industry Updates

GenomeQuest Wants to Be the Google of DNA Data Searches | Xconomy01 Mar

Boston-area GenomeQuest makes a bid to move genome search and analysis tools into the cloud, in competition with Seattle-based Geospiza, which is running on the Amazon cloud computing platform. Geospiza and Life Tech have already announced a partnership in this space, so there’s a good chance we’ll see competition heating up just as we did when Microsoft brought Azure to the marketplace competing with Amazon and Google. Could be fun!

Healthcare Information Technology

Siemens Licenses Microsoft HealthVault | Xconomy01 Mar

Looks like I missed this announcement when it initially came out, but in a major score for Microsoft HealthVault, the team has announced a business partnership with German industrial giant Seimens. This will make Germany the third country to use HealthVault, after the US and Canada.

.gen Tech News

01 Mar

We’re currently working with the Life Sciences IT Global Institute to define Good Informatics Practices for Data Management in Life Sciences and Healthcare, and working on solutions in data mining for scientific applications. Contact us to find out more!

Healthcare Information Technology

Microsoft HealthVault Makes Pitch to Hospitals, Tries to Crack Tough Nut of Health-IT Adoption | Xconomy01 Mar

David Cerino of Microsoft’s Health Solutions Group – the HealthVault and the Amalga lineup – announces HealthVault Community Connect at the HIMSS10 conference in Atlanta, and clarifies the group’s strategy of moving consumers to Personal Health Records (PHRs) by selling hospitals on the value proposition first. The new product will be based on the SharePoint platform, and is scheduled for wide availability in the third quarter of this year.

Industry Updates

Life Technologies Unveils Single Molecule Sequencing Technology01 Mar

Hot off the presses, Life Tech announced a single molecule sequencing technology using nanocrystals this morning at AGBT. Here’s the technology description in this morning’s press release:

The new technology uses Qdot(R) nanocrystals as its core sequencing
engine. Qdots are nanometer-sized semiconductor crystals that have made
them ideal for groundbreaking cellular imaging research and for the
detection of individual protein molecules. Compared to conventional
fluorescence detection with organic dye molecules, the Qdot approach
generates signals more than 100 times greater, enabling simple single
molecule detection. The SMS system uses specially designed sequencing
versions of these nanocrystals, attached to proprietary DNA polymerase

The system monitors the real time incorporation of nucleotides (the
building blocks of DNA) into individual growing DNA strands. As
nucleotides are incorporated, they are energized by photons transferred
from the Qdot nanocrystal, generating a characteristic colored flash of
fluorescence light. The prototype SMS system records the time and color
series of these light flashes to determine the DNA sequence of each
individual DNA strand. Uniquely, this approach looks for correlated
fluorescence flashes with Qdot signal decreases – a key feature that is
anticipated to improve the error profile of inherently noisy single
molecule data.

Another unique aspect of the system is reagent exchange, where
individual Qdot polymerases and synthesized templates can be removed and
replaced with new ones. This enables immobilized individual DNA
templates to be sequenced several times in a recursive fashion, allowing
for highly accurate reads with minimal sample preparation. In addition,
reagent exchange enables linking together of multiple long reads to
enable virtually unlimited read lengths.

This new technology will complement Life Tech’s existing plays in SOLiD and capillary electrophoresis. Full press release at

Company News

  • - 2013/03/04

    One of our team members is now working with Hospira on infuser product support. Contact us to find out more!

  • - 2010/10/24

    We're currently working with online elections provider Everyone Counts, Inc. Contact us to find out more!

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