Illumina Solexa hype

(I was just thinking about a post about MAQ and this aside turned into a post of its own…)

Several people in my lab have the attitude that arrays are obsolete technology, and Solexa sequencing will be entirely replacing it over the coming years. My boss may or may not agree.

In any case, the Illumina people are trying to take full advantage of this wave of hype. Last week, I went to a day-long meeting in Edinburgh about the Illumina “product portfolio” and its potential applications. Just look at the punishing sales schedule! They had brought a half dozen marketing people with them – senior product manager this and marketing manager that – as well as a few local scientists who were using the kit. One guy who gave a talk had spent half his £2.2m budget on Illumina kit. Another was enthusing about how sequencing is now so quick and easy a masters student could now do it in a few months. Apparently, they’re also moving into the consumer sector and were talking about swapping genomes with an iPhone app. I’m afraid I face-palmed at that point.

It’s interesting stuff, but you always worry when there is a monopoly on this kind of technology. For some of the analysis we’ve done, the Solexa data seems to have worrying bias relative to arrays, although this may of course be because we haven’t figure out how to do the analysis yet.

Anyway, high throughput sequencing is increasingly entering the public arena so I guess we better get used to it.

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One Response to “Illumina Solexa hype”

  1. Peter Saffrey Says:

    I can’t believe I forgot to mention the best part about the whole seminar; it was held in the Sheraton in Edinburgh and the lunch was outstanding. You could go to 4 or 5 courses if you were trying and there was a huge variety of luxury vittals. There was freshly prepared stir-fry, a cut of roast beef, 10 different types of vegetables, a fantastic salad bar, some kind of Asian broth and a tempting cheese board. I went for some salad (including pastrami and smoked salmon), followed by rack of lamb followed by a very odd Irn Bru sorbet.

    You can tell these guys are serious when they fly this many people to Edinburgh and lay on such an amazing free lunch – yes, there was no registration fee. If you’re a poor person looking for a good meal, I recommend taking an interest in high-throughput sequencing and registering for one of these seminars.

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