Aug 9, 2010
A number of pieces of new equipment have been added to the BioMicro Center, particularly in the area of high throughput screening. First, through an equipment grant sponsored by Wendy Gilbert, we have added a second robotic fluidics machine that is specifically geared for screening 96 and 384 well plates. Unlike the older robot, this Tecan has a plate manipulating arm that allows it to handle much larger experiments. We also have added the Fluidigm Biomark which has been relocated from E17 and we are also in the evaluation phase for the Nanostring nCounter. Both of these machines allow you to look at a large number of genes / SNPs across a large number of samples. The Biomark is a nanofluidic RT-PCR machine that creates large matrices (either 48x48 or 96x96) of samples and primers, allowing you to do close to 10,000 RT-PCR reactions on a plate. The nCounter uses a “code set” of up to 800 genes to hybridize to dozens or hundreds of samples, then visualizes the single molecule interactions. The nCounter is particularly interesting in that it does not require conversion of the sample to cDNA, or even purification of the RNA. Information about all of these instruments can be found on our website.
We are happy to announce the beginning of sample preparation services for Illumina sequencing. We are introducing this service starting with double stranded DNA fragments (>100bp) such as de novo genomic sequencing, resequencing, ChIP-seq and RNA-seq that has been converted to cDNA. The service includes QC, end-repair, adaptor ligation, size selection and enrichment. Once samples are prepared, they are validated and added directly to the Illumina sequencing queue. Right now, this service is limited, but we are hoping to introduce multiplexing and RNA samples in the near future.
With so many changes both in new equipment and upgrades to current equipment we wanted to create an opportunity for you to learn more about the assays available in the facility. To help with this, we will be sponsoring a “Technology Seminar Series” this fall. The weekly seminars will be at noon on Mondays (lunch will be provided). Each week we will showcase a different technology in the facility and bring you up to date on the latest advances and future directions of the technology. We have asked the companies we have invited to bring their scientists to speak (not the sales team) so you have a chance to interact with them directly.
I hope you are having a great summer!
May 13, 2010
In order to increase the space available for equipment in the BioMicro Center, we are doing a little more remodeling. Please note the following changes:
April 19, 2010
Starting next month, the Koch Institute and the MIT BioMicro Center will be hosting a Nanostring nCounter system on a trial basis. The nCounter system is a single molecule visualizer that quantitatively detects RNA and other nucleic acids using a hybridization system in a highly multiplex manner. The system uses color-coded molecular barcodes to digitally count nucleic acid molecules in solution. The system does not use enzymes for detecting the nucleic acids, allowing direct measurements of mRNA from a variety of input materials including degraded RNA or crude cell lysates.
The instruments will be located in the BioMicro Center and will be available to all members of the MIT community. We will be using this time to gauge the level of interest in the nCounter and whether it would be a viable system to purchase.
If you are interested in learning more, we will be hosting a seminar with Nanostring representatives on April 30th. The seminar will be at 11am in 68-181. Nanostring representatives will be available after the talk to discuss the instruments and specific applications. More information is in the ABSTRACT for the talk.
April 1, 2010
Thanks to the generosity of a grant from the Moore Foundation to Dr. Penny Chisholm and ARRA funding to Dr. Chris Burge the BioMicro Center will be significantly expanding our sequencing capacity over the next 4-6 months. The first step of this expansion begins today with the addition of a new GAIIx and cBot from Illumina. We are working hard to get "Ryland" and "Agustus Gloop" up and running and we hope to be able to shorten our queue times very soon!
Due to an increase in the cost of Illumina reagents, increase in data file size, and the complexity of sample preps, we have had to increase, slightly, the cost of Illumina sequencing. These new rates will be effective on samples submitted after April 1, 2010. Samples already in the queue will use the current rates.
RECENT & UPCOMING CHANGES