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BioNano Genomics launches platform for human genome analysis

San Diego-based BioNano Genomics released its Irys System, a genome mapping system that empowers genomics researchers with a new way of achieving more accurate and comprehensive discoveries, including structural variation analysis and sequence assemblies.

Irys is a novel, automated platform that uses single-molecule imaging to visualize extremely long nucleic acids and reveal genome architecture in its native state, thereby significantly extending the reach of existing genomic technologies.

"The Irys System allows researchers and clinicians to access meaningful biological information that is often disrupted or completely lost when molecules are sheared," said BioNano Genomics President and CEO Dr. R. Erik Holmlin, who announced the launch of Irys at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) Annual Meeting, being held in San Francisco Nov. 6-10. "BioNano Genomics is pleased to introduce a new approach that allows one to easily observe architecture and context across the whole genome, providing unprecedented insight into biology."

The fully automated Irys benchtop instrument uses a proprietary IrysChip to uncoil and confine long DNA molecules into nanochannels, uniformly linearizing them for high-resolution, single-molecule imaging. The Irys System does not require DNA fragmentation and amplification -- steps that are typical of next-generation sequencing -- resulting in extremely long "reads" of hundreds of kilobases to megabases. Because of this, the sample’s valuable structural information is preserved, making it possible for researchers to directly observe structural variants including translocations and inversions.

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