TS Picks: September 21, 2015

Blood-cleansing device; handheld sequencer; reference human genomes

Tracy Vence
Sep 21, 2015


Selections from The Scientist’s reading list:

  • A microfluidic device developed by scientists at Harvard Medical School to cleanse the blood of rats with acute sepsis “is nearing the point where it could be ready for human clinical testing,” MIT Technology Review reported last week (September 18).
  • In a BioRxiv preprint posted last week (September 15), a public-private team led by investigators at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland, reported reference materials for seven human genomes sequenced using 11 technologies. “[W]e expect these data to be useful for revealing novel information about the human genome and improving sequencing technologies, SNP, indel, and structural variant calling, and de novo assembly,” the team wrote in its manuscript.
  • The Atlantic on Oxford Nanopore Technologies’s MinION: “These devices quite literally bring the power of modern genomics to the palm of your hand. And at a cost of just $1,000, they herald a new era where sequencing moves away from well-equipped institutions and into places where it is most needed, from hospitals to epidemic-afflicted hot zones.”
  • Patients interested in participating in the National Institutes of Health’s Undiagnosed Diseases Program, which last year was expanded to include six extramural research institutions, can now consult the Undiagnosed Diseases Network Gateway, an online application portal to find participating physicians, the agency announced last week (September 16).
  • Popular Science last week (September 16) asked: With their unique immune systems, why aren’t bats constantly ill?