Relentless Improvements in Throughput, Read-length and Data Quality Fuel Rapid Market Adoption of Ion PGM™ Benchtop Sequencer

life technologiesCARLSBAD, Calif., June 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) today announced that over 10,000 researchers have joined the Ion Community, actively sharing methods, data and applications.  This unparalleled pace of growth around Ion semiconductor sequencing is driven by continued rapid advancements in throughput, read-length and data quality, as well as a broad menu of applications. With over 1,000 Ion PGM™ Sequencers in labs around the world, coupled with the largest on-line community, Ion Torrent is leading the next generation benchtop sequencing movement. A rapidly growing list of peer reviewed publications utilizing semiconductor sequencing is available at

Trajectory of rapid improvements in read-length, throughput and data quality

In its first year, Ion Torrent doubled read-length to 200 bases and increased throughput one hundred fold to 1 Gb.  The Q2 2012 product release announced today, which includes new 200 base kits and upgraded Torrent Suite 2.2. data analysis software, further scales throughput and improves data quality to the Q30 quality level.  Foreshadowing long read products that will launch in 2H 2012, Ion Torrent today released datasets demonstrating 400 base read-length with data quality sustained at the Q30 level across the long reads.  These performance improvements spur the development of new applications that can be run on  Ion PGM™ Sequencers at basic and clinical research labs around the world.

Customers experiencing the benefits

Justin Johnson of EdgeBio stated, “We are impressed by the continuous, rapid improvements in Ion semiconductor sequencing across throughput, read-length and data quality.  The first long read datasets available on the Ion Community exhibit a modal read-length of 400 bases with the majority of bases at Q30 quality or better through 400 bases.  We are delighted with this preview of the long read-length products in development at Ion and expect continued data quality improvements by the time of release in the second half of 2012.”

Dr. Chad Nusbaum of the Broad Institute stated, “We’ve seen some very impressive improvements in Ion data since the beginning of the year. The chips have been hitting where we expected in terms of yield and performance and our average base quality has gone from Q20 to Q30.”

Higher multiplexing and new RNA-seq kits to replace microarrays

Recent enhancements to the Ion PGM™ System also include the launch of a 96 barcode kit, allowing pooling of DNA samples to markedly improve sample throughput and dramatically lower per sample cost. Ion semiconductor sequencing also provides a fast, affordable alternative to microarrays. The newly released Ion Total RNA-Seq Kit v2, developed by Ambion, permits construction of either small RNA or whole transcriptome libraries for sequencing on the Ion PGM™ System in just 5-6 hours. A set of 16 RNA barcodes enables multiplexing of libraries for sequencing on a single Ion Chip – providing more cost effective sequencing.

“The Ion PGM™ System has relentlessly progressed toward a compelling combination of read-length, throughput and now Q30 quality,” said Dr. Jonathan Rothberg, CEO and Founder of  Ion Torrent.   “Researchers have noted the regular cadence of new product introductions and protocols that have delivered these performance improvements.  Nothing has ever got better faster and scaled more impressively  in the world of next generation sequencing than Ion semiconductor sequencing.  Ion Torrent’s goal has always been to democratize sequencing and with this unprecedented pace of accuracy, throughput and read-length advancements, we are on-track to make this vision a reality. ”

Ion Community experiencing remarkable growth in membership

In just 16 months the Ion Community has swelled to over 10,000 members – with as many as two hundred new members joining every week.  The Ion Community houses common protocols, datasets and library preparation methods for the Ion PGM™ System, (and soon the Ion Proton™ System) as well as an application store with over one dozen applications already available. In any given month, approximately half of the members are active on the Ion Community, a ringing endorsement to the strong adoption of the Ion PGM™ System.

All above mentioned products are For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.

About Life Technologies

Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) is a global biotechnology company with customers in more than 160 countries using its innovative solutions to solve some of today’s most difficult scientific challenges. Quality and innovation are accessible to every lab with its reliable and easy-to-use solutions spanning the biological spectrum with more than 50,000 products for translational research, molecular medicine and diagnostics, stem cell-based therapies, forensics, food safety and animal health. Its systems, reagents and consumables represent some of the most cited brands in scientific research including: Ion Torrent™, Applied Biosystems®,  Invitrogen™, GIBCO®, Ambion®, Molecular Probes®, Novex®, and TaqMan®. Life Technologies employs approximately 10,400 people and upholds its ongoing commitment to innovation with more than 4,000 patents and exclusive licenses. LIFE had sales of $3.7 billion in 2011. Visit us at our website:

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