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Ion Torrent Ships New RNA Sequencing Application as Fast, Easy, Affordable Alternative to Microarrays

CARLSBAD, Calif., May 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) today announced it is now shipping the Ion Total RNA-Seq Kit for the Ion Personal Genome Machine (PGM™) sequencer, a solution that provides a fast, affordable, easy-to-use alternative to microarrays for transcript expression analysis. The Ion PGM sequencer puts RNA-Seq within the reach of any lab, enabling scientists to get far more accurate and comprehensive data than microarrays can provide for a comparable price.

RNA-Seq has always been the preferred method for studying gene expression because it provides the most complete information, such as transcript quantitation and the detection of novel transcripts and mutations. However, the cost and complexity of high-throughput next-generation sequencing technology has kept most researchers from adopting it. 

"It's been clear for years that there's a huge disconnect between the view of the transcriptome that we see from microarrays and the output of individual biological states that we get with sequencing," said Dr. Sean Grimmond, the Director of the Queensland Centre for Medical Genomics. "While RNA-Seq offers fantastic sensitivity and discrimination, cost and speed have been holding it back. Those are two areas where Ion Torrent technology excels, so this will be a very compelling application."

The Ion RNA-Seq is making RNA sequencing accessible to every scientist in world, with a fast, simple, solution that any lab can buy and use: 

  • The workflow is fast: Single-day workflow and sequencing that takes about an hour, compared to several days on some next-gen sequencers.
  • The price is affordable: The Ion PGM sequencer costs just $49,500, less than a microarray scanner or any next-generation platform, and Ion chips start at $250. Ion RNA-Seq delivers a low per-sample price without having to pool hundreds of samples.
  • The workflow is easy: Any molecular biology lab can quickly master the workflow, and data analysis takes just 90 minutes with intuitive tools like Partek, which are familiar to microarray users.
  • The platform is scalable: Change the number of reads by just changing the chip.
  • The read lengths are long: At least 100 bp today, 200 bp by the end of 2011 and 400 bp in 2012, ideal for detecting splice junctions 

The Ion Total RNA Kit can analyze any type of RNA, including rRNA-depleted total RNA, poly(A) RNA, and small RNA. Unlike most other kits, it preserves strand information by aligning all mapped reads in the direction of transcription relative to the chromosomal strand, providing critical information about the structure of the gene that improves accuracy.

The Ion Personal Genome Machine sequencer is for research use only.  Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

About Life Technologies Sequencing

Life Technologies is the world's leading provider of sequencing technologies, offering the industry's gold standard capillary electrophoresis technology with the Applied Biosystems™ 3500 Series Genetic Analyzers, next-generation sequencing technology with the Applied Biosystems™ 5500 Series SOLiD™ Sequencers, and semiconductor-based sequencing technology with the recently launched  Ion Personal Genome Machine (PGM™) sequencer.    

About Life Technologies (

Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) is a global biotechnology company dedicated to improving the human condition. Our systems, consumables and services enable researchers to accelerate scientific and medical advancements that make life even better. Life Technologies customers do their work across the biological spectrum, working to advance the fields of discovery and translational research, molecular medicine, stem cell-based therapies, food safety and animal health, and 21st century forensics. The company manufactures both molecular diagnostic and research use only products. Life Technologies' industry-leading brands are found in nearly every life sciences lab in the world and include innovative instrument systems under the Applied Biosystems and Ion Torrent names, as well as, the broadest range of reagents with its Invitrogen, GIBCO, Ambion, Molecular Probes and TaqMan® products. Life Technologies had sales of $3.6 billion in 2010, has a workforce of approximately 11,000 people, has a presence in approximately 160 countries, and possesses one of the largest intellectual property estates in the life sciences industry, with approximately 3,900 patents and exclusive licenses. For more information on how we are making a difference, please visit our website:

Life Technologies' Safe Harbor Statement

This press release includes forward-looking statements about our anticipated results that involve risks and uncertainties. Some of the information contained in this press release, including, but not limited to, statements as to industry trends and Life Technologies' plans, objectives, expectations and strategy for its business, contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Any statements that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. When used, the words "believe," "plan," "intend," "anticipate," "target," "estimate," "expect" and the like, and/or future tense or conditional constructions ("will," "may," "could," "should," etc.), or similar expressions, identify certain of these forward-looking statements. Important factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are detailed in filings made by Life Technologies with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Life Technologies undertakes no obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.


Life Technologies Contact
Wes Conard

Mauricio Minotta

SOURCE Life Technologies Corporation
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