Through a new service partnership, Applied Biosystems is helping scientists study genetic variations - even if they can't access or afford the necessary lab equipment.
The life sciences equipment and services company has launched a genotyping service provider programme. The initiative is aimed at scientists interested in studying how specific genetic variations may impact health or disease but who do not have access to capillary electrophoresis (CE) genetic analysis instrument systems.
The new SNPlex programme - named after AB's SNPlex genotyping system - is being run with the help of several partners, including the Chinese National Human Genome Center, China; DNAVision, Belgium; IntegraGen, France; Medical Solutions Geneservice, UK; the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) DNA Sequencing and Genotyping Core Facility, US; and Vanderbilt University DNA Sequencing and Genotyping Facility, also in the US.
The data generated could be used to further existing research into a number of diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Each partner has previous experience of using Applied Biosystems SNPlex genotyping equipment and were chosen based on their proficiency in using the system.
"It's not always practical for a researcher to set up a high throughput assay in their laboratory if the methods are not the main focus of their work," said Dr Jeanette Papp, director of UCLA's GenoSeq Core.
"GenoSeq Core has the requirements for these experiments in place, including the instrumentation, necessary robotics, bioinformatics and, most importantly, the expertise."
Each partner will offer a range of services related to DNA sequencing, functional genomics, proteomics, and SNP detection, such as validation or fine mapping studies that require obtaining high throughput single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data. The experiments are designed to benefit medium to large scale genotyping research and enable scientists to access to large populations of individuals.
In return, Applied Biosystems will provide technical and marketing support to customers of the programme.
"The SNPlex Service Provider Program facilitates access to a complete genotyping analysis system for those who have not scaled up their research and made an investment to purchase on their own," said Phoebe White, senior director of genotyping at Applied Biosystems.