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Number of Ion Community Users Triples, Spurred by Open Access to DNA Sequencing Protocols and Analysis Software
Date:12/31/2011

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New Life Grand Challenges Dataset

Ion Torrent also released its next round of benchmark data for the Life Grand Challenges competition. Participants are challenged to drive performance improvement of the Ion PGM sequencer in three areas: sample preparation, base yield and accuracy. To win the $1 million prize in any of these three categories, participants must beat the internal record at Ion Torrent by two-fold, through their own protocol improvements between January and March of 2012.

The latest Grand Challenges E. coli dataset exhibits a average read length of 241 bp and high quality, (Q20) reads as long as 318 bp.  An Ion 318™ chip was used, generating 1.27 Gb of data. All participants must now use the Ion 318 chip, which delivers 100-fold more data than the initial 10 Mb specification of the Ion 314™ chip, giving participants room to achieve the new benchmarks. Raw voltage data and a cloud-based computing environment are available by registering for the Life Grand Challenges on the Ion Community. Entries for this round of the Life Grand Challenges close on Mar. 15, 2011

To win the challenges, participants must match or exceed these specific benchmarks:

  • Scalability: A total of 2.54 Gb must be sequenced, twice the recorded 1.27 Gb
  • Speed: Sample preparation must be reduced to four hours, from the current six hours.
  • Accuracy: The accuracy rate must increase to 99.5, or one error per 200 base pair reads, from the documented 99 percent accuracy of 2011.

 "I believe the Accuracy Challenge is achievable – in fact I came close to the benchmark earlier in the year -- because it only requires a computer and an idea," said Monkol Lek, a doctoral candidate at the University of Sydney, who perform
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SOURCE Life Technologies Corporation
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