AGBT 2010: First Impressions


Only in Florida: Jellyfish Aquarium

I’m in the midst of my first full day at Marco Island. More than any other meeting that I’ve attended, AGBT has a remarkable corporate presence. Life Technologies seems to be the biggest sponsor; you can’t look anywhere without seeing a banner that promotes the new SOLiD4 system. Apparently I’m doing a poor job at keeping up with SOLiD, as I’d only just heard about SOLiD3. I spoke to Richard Gibbs at a coffee break, and he mentioned that SOLiD4 is an upgrade, not a new machine. Must be nice.

Caliper Life Sciences, a maker of microfluidics equipment for next-generation sequencing, won favor with many attendees by hanging chocolate “chips” (mini bars) on the doorknobs of every AGBT attendee’s room in the hotel to promote their recently-launched LabChip XT. I learned of this company only a week or so ago, when my colleague Vince Magrini was named to their scientific advisory board.

PacBio Instrument Unveiled

Pacific Biosciences unveiled their coveted SMRT sequencing instrument last night in a small, invitation-only event in their suite. Sadly, I wasn’t invited, but I’m told the guest list was very exclusive. Most likely it was restricted to directors from the ten initial PacBio customers that were announced last week. Tonight, PacBio hosts a roundtable called Global Challenges, Genomic Solutions that will be moderated by Charlie Rose.

Other Players in the Field

This morning at breakfast, Agilent Technologies was trading SureSelect T-shirts for surveys that assessed respondents’ interest in exome capture, which (thus far) seems to be the recurrent hot topic at AGBT. Things have been quiet from some of the other large sponsors, including Illumina, Complete Genomics, Roche, and others. I’m sure that their hour of glory will come soon enough.

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Keith Robison
Keith Robison

Thanks for all the great info!

Florida is not the only place that recognizes the beauty of jellyfish. New England Aquarium has several tanks, and once had a temporary exhibit ("Jellies!") that was really spectacular. The way some of them catch the light is astounding when correctly lit & I find them very relaxing.

One of the Kelly's chain (local chain of roast beef & fried clam places) did have a jellyfish aquarium, but I haven't been to that one in a few years so I don't know if it is still there.

Daniel MacArthur
Daniel MacArthur

Nice summary, Dan.

It's worth mentioning the salacious slogan on the front of the Agilent T-shirts: "I'm looking at your regions of interest." :-)