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8 Free Tools for Genetic Engineers, Molecular and Synthetic Biologists

Having a powerful set of tools is essential in life science research so we’ve compiled the best free platforms for genetic engineers, molecular and synthetic biologists.

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Reproducibility in Computational Biology

Recently Baker and Lithgow (Baker, 2016; Lithgow, et al., 2017) highlighted the problem of the reproducibility in research. Reproducibility criticality affects to different extent a large portion of the science fields (Baker, 2016). Bioinformatics is becoming a key element of many biological/medical studies (Searls, 2010) and reproducibility is also an important issue in this field (Kanwal, et al., 2017; Sandve, et al., 2013).

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The Challenge of Accurately Performing Skin Microbiome Metagenomic Studies

The human skin is densely colonised with a complex microbial community (1). Microbes are a part of the skin barrier that, combined with  innate immunity, keeps the balance essential to maintaining healthy skin (2). Recent and independent research projects strongly suggested that human skin microbiota is of a major importance for human health and could be targeted to improve the skin health.

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Cancer Therapy in the Genomic Era: Barriers and Distractions

Recent step change advances in sequencing technologies have delivered a near-complete lexicon of genomic cancer drivers. In parallel, progress in synthetic chemistry has facilitated the assembly of a broad armamentarium of molecularly-targeted therapies. However, whilst immunotherapy agents have produced notable benefits for subgroups of patients, the impact of molecularly-targeted therapies have been relatively modest.

Further unlocking the undeniable power of genomics in cancer will involve both the systematic removal of barriers and the avoidance of distractions that obscure progress. Both of which are discussed here.

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Next Generation Sequencing Technology: An Open Letter From Mostafa Ronaghi

Dear Colleagues,

Launched in 1990, the Human Genome Project involved thousands of scientists across the globe and took 13 years to complete. Using capillary electrophoresis-based Sanger sequencing, it cost nearly $3 billion. In 2014 Illumina announced the first technology that could sequence a whole genome for less than $1,000.

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