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Recent Illumina System and Bioinformatics Upgrades

Upgrades.

Since the initiation of Illumina services last fall our customer-base has grown at a steady and significant rate. Along with this, we have upgraded our instrumentation, software, reagent kits, and computer hardware multiple times. Since the instrument system was installed last fall the sequence yield has increased dramatically due to a combination of hardware and software improvements. Here are a few examples:

  • Software. We have upgraded our GAIIX instrument, Cluster Station and Illumina Pipeline analysis software three times enabling increased cluster detection and tracking and increasing yields through improved basecalling. We are awaiting the next software improvement in the coming that is claimed to increase yield significantly.
  • Reagents. We are now on the 4th version of Illumina cluster kits and sequencing reagents. Each kit has brought improved signal and read length capabilities. The most recent kits (which are of course more expensive) will permit shorter cycle times and even longer reads.
  • Hardware. Recently we purchased the GAIIX upgrade that cost $25,000. This hardware upgrade to the instrument which includes altered designs for the manifolds and optics permits the detection of 20% more tiles per lane (now 120 tiles per lane). The bottom line is that maximum sequence yield is increased 20%, so you get more performance for your research dollars. This upgrade also provides larger a chilled reagent rack, so that we can now do much longer hands-off paired-end runs. This upgrade coupled with software and reagent improvements will enabled us to initiate 106 x 106 paired-end services in January.

All of these investments are resulting more coverage with fewer lanes.

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