BioMicro Center News
September 16, 2011
I hope everyone had a great summer. I have a few updates for on recent changes in the BioMicro Center.
First, we will be running the Technology Seminar Series again this year. This seminar series is designed to showcase a different technology in the facility each month and to bring you up to date on the latest advances and future directions of the technology in the BioMicro Center. The seminar is on Tuesdays at noon in 68-181 and lunch will be provided. 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. The first session will be in just under two weeks with Tecan presenting on the robotics systems we have in the core. The full schedule is being maintained on our website at http://openwetware.org/wiki/BioMicroCenter:Technology_Seminar_Series.
Second, we are just rolling out our newest service: Automated chromatin IP. Over the past few months we have been evaluating the IP-Star technology from Diagenode. We’ve had enough success that the instrument has been purchased and we are now offering ChIP services. The IP-star takes as input sonicated crosslinked chromatin from ~5 million cells and antibody, and ends with purified DNA. The DNA can be used for either gene specific analysis or can be carried directly in to Illumina library preparation and ChIP-seq. We have validated one set of buffer conditions that have worked robustly but the system is capable of handling a broad range of alternative conditions and can even be used to test several conditions simultaneously. I do want to point out that this is still an experimental technology and remains sensitive to most of the complexities of ChIP (requiring good antibodies and chromatin preparations) so our “guarantee” of success is much more limited than most of our other technologies, but we have seen some very promising results from our early adopters.
Finally, for those of you following the Agilent BioAnalyzer saga, we’re hoping we are at the end of it now and that the high sensitivity DNA chips are back on line. We’re still cleaning up our backlog so sample processing remains slower than we would like but I’m hoping within a week we’ll be back to normal. I do want to thank the technicians in the lab who have been working extra hours on an extremely frustrating problem to get the issue resolved.
As always, this newsletter is only sent to people who have used the BioMicro Center within the past couple years, so feel free to forward this on to anyone else who might be interested.
Best regards, -Stuart Levine
-- -- Stuart Levine, PhD BioMicro Center Director email@example.com Massachusetts Institute of Technology 617-452-2949 77 Massachusetts Ave. 68-304d (f) 617-258-xxxx Cambridge, MA 02139 (c) 617-312-1286 http://web.mit.edu/biomicro/
JULY 2, 2011
I hope everyone is having a great summer. I have a few updates for on recent changes in the BioMicro Center.
First, by popular demand we are announcing that our RNA seq sample preparation service is officially accepting samples. This service requires 100ng of high quality eukaryotic RNA as input and is based on the Illumina TruSeq RNAseq kits coupled with the SPRIworks sample preparation robot. The initial price is $350/sample, which is a little more than then price of a microarray preparation. While the service is open, we are still in the tweaking stage and we are evaluating a number of different protocols that could reduce the total RNA amount or lower the quality of the RNA needed. We do hope to have these questions resolved in the very near future, but the quality of the data we have been getting has been sufficient that we wanted to open the service up to everyone.
Second, prices for all of our services were updated on July 1st. Many prices are decreasing. A few key things to notice:
The full list can be found on our pricing page
Finally, this month we have a number of personnel changes. Katie Sullivan and Justin Elliot will be returning to Northeastern with our thanks for six months of hard work, and our new co-ops Jessica Lebowitz and Kaitlyn Sanders, will be starting on July 5th. Jessica and Kaitlyn will be taking over operation of the BioAnalyzer/LabChip and other sample quality control services. In addition, we will be adding a new bioinformaticist, Dr. Huming Ding, to the Center in early July. Dr. Ding comes to us from the University of Toronto where he worked extensively with Dr. Charlie Boone on high throughput screening of genetic interactions and will be helping us establish pipelines for analyzing Illumina data. Please say hello and make them feel welcome the next time you stop by!
May 24, 2011
We have a number of updates to let you all know about that have happened in the last few months.
First, we have continued to expand our DNA sample preparation services . Over the past few months, we have been experimenting with the Nextera sample prep kit to complement our SPRIworks service. Where the SPRIworks system uses sonicated DNA, the Nextera kit is built to handle intact genomic DNA, using a transposase to fragment the DNA and is particularly suitable for applications that use entire genomic DNA, including copy number variation and de novo and resequencing projects. In addition, we have taken advantage of recent work from the Broad to improve our library representation by modifying our amplification protocol. The Nextera service is now available through BioMicro for the same price as the SPRIworks system and includes molecular barcoding of the library. For more information about the Nextera system, please email Ryan Sinapius.
In the microarray area, we have made significant improvements to our Agilent microarray service. First, we have upgraded our scanner to 2um resolution, which will allow scanning of Agilent’s newest 1 million feature arrays. This has been coupled with an upgrade of the scanning and analysis software that can now handle additional quality controls. In addition, we have been working with Agilent to bring down the prices of their microarrays and we will be able to offer them at a significant discount beginning in July that will bring the price of microarray analysis down significantly. For more information about changes in the Agilent platform, please talk with Manlin Luo.
Finally, in response to user demand we have purchased a number of licenses for TIBCO Spotfire Analytics. Spotfire is a widely used data analysis and visualization tool. It can handle a number of clustering functions and statistical tests and has very robust graphical capabilities. If you are interested in trying out Spotfire, please contact Stephen Goldman.
As a reminder, this email only goes out to people who are have used the BioMicro Center within the past couple years. Please feel free to forward this message on to anyone else who might be interested.
Thank you all for your support,
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