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Life Technologies Corp. : Number of Ion Community Users Triples, Spurred by Open Access to DNA Sequencing Protocols and Analysis Software

01/01/2012 | 06:24am US/Eastern

CARLSBAD, Calif., Dec. 31, 2011/PRNewswire/ -- Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) today announced that membership in the , the online open-access resource for Ion Torrent usersdevelopers, has tripled to 5,000 people in just three months. The sudden jump in membership began after Ion Torrent published its sequencing protocols, analysis softwaredatasets for the Ion Personal Genome Machine(PGM), the world's first benchtop sequencer, on Sept 30thof this year.

The Ion Community, which was established in March, has grown by about 150 new members a weekis expected to reach 10,000 members in 2012. Most of the community members are either current Ion Torrent users, people who want to learn more about the system by reviewing the datasetsprotocols, or developers working on novel applications.

 "The amazing growth of the Ion Community underscores the huge demand there is in the scientific community to work with an open access platformparticipate in how that platform develops," said Ion Torrent FounderCEO Dr. Jonathan M. Rothberg.  "Sharing information will accelerate the development of Ion semiconductor sequencinginevitably drive breakthroughs in fields including medicine, energyagriculture."

Eric Olivares, the most popular online sequencing community, said: "The Ion Community has embraced the same principles that have driven the growth of SEQanswers: unrestricted access to information, protocols,inter-user communication. In a rapidly evolving field where hardware, analysis algorithms,wet-lab methods change monthly, I am excited to see a major technology provider embrace opennessacknowledge that their users will drive innovation on the platform."

New Life Grand Challenges Dataset

Ion Torrent also released its next round of benchmark data for the Life Grand Challenges competition. Participants are challenged to drive performance improvement of the Ion PGM sequencer in three areas: sample preparation, base yieldaccuracy. To win the $1 millionprize in any of these three categories, participants must beat the internal record at Ion Torrent by two-fold, through their own protocol improvements between JanuaryMarch of 2012.

The latest Grand Challenges   exhibits a average read length of 241 bphigh quality, (Q20) reads as long as 318 bp.  An Ion 318chip was used, generating 1.27 Gb of data. All participants must now use the Ion 318 chip, which delivers 100-fold more data than the initial 10 Mb specification of the Ion 314chip, giving participants room to achieve the new benchmarks. Raw voltage dataa cloud-based computing environment are available by registering for the Life Grand Challenges on the Ion Community. Entries for this round of the Life Grand Challenges close on Mar. 15, 2011

To win the challenges, participants must match or exceed these specific benchmarks:

  • Scalability: A total of 2.54 Gb must be sequenced, twice the recorded 1.27 Gb
  • Speed: Sample preparation must be reduced to four hours, from the current six hours.
  • Accuracy: The accuracy rate must increase to 99.5, or one error per 200 base pair reads, from the documented 99 percent accuracy of 2011.

 "I believe the Accuracy Challenge is achievable - in fact I came close to the benchmark earlier in the year -- because it only requires a computeran idea," said Monkol Lek, a doctoral candidate at the University of Sydney, who performs technical work with Ion PGM System datawrites the   blog. "Life Technologies has generously provided a wealth of resources in the form of data sets, source codeanalysis tools available through the Ion Community. The improvements in the Torrent Suite software have demonstrated improving accuracy is composed of common problems in which standard techniques can be applied."

The benchmarksother information are available at the website.  Membersothers can follow the Grand Challenges on hear at blogtalkradio.

RecognitION program

Ion Torrent also announced that it has given away $20,000four boxes of Ion 316™ chips as part of the new RecognitION program, which acknowledges users' uniquevaluable contributions to the Ion Community. RecognitION distributes points to those who participate in the communitythe points are redeemed for rewards ranging from a T-shirt to an iPad to a free Ion PGM Sequencer. Users who accumulate 150,000 points win an Ion PGM Sequencera paid trip to a scientific conference.

For Research Use Only.  Not intended for any animal or human therapeutic or diagnostic use.

The content provided herein may relate to products that have not been officially releasedis subject to change without notice.

About Life Technologies Corporation

Life Technologies Corporation is a global biotechnology company dedicated to improving the human condition. Our systems, consumablesservices enable researchers to accelerate scientificmedical advancements that make life even better. Life Technologies customers do their work across the biological spectrum, working to advance the fields of discoverytranslational research, molecular medicine, stem cell-based therapies, food safetyanimal health,21st-century forensics.

The company manufactures both molecular diagnosticresearch use only products. Life Technologies' industry-leading brands are found in nearly every life sciences lab in the worldinclude innovative instrument systems under the Applied BiosystemsIon Torrent names, as well as the broadest range of reagents with its Invitrogen, GIBCO, Ambion, Molecular ProbesTaqMan® products. Life Technologies had sales of $3.6 billionin 2010, has a workforce of approximately 11,000 people, has a presence in approximately 160 countriespossesses one of the largest intellectual property estates in the life sciences industry, with approximately 3,900 patentsexclusive licenses. For more information on how we make a difference, please visit .

Life Technologies' Safe Harbor Statement

This press release includes forward-looking statements about our anticipated results that involve risksuncertainties. Some of the information contained in this press release, including, but not limited to, statements as to industry trendsLife Technologies' plans, objectives, expectationsstrategy for its business, contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risksuncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Any statements that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. When used, the words "believe," "plan," "intend," "anticipate," "target," "estimate," "expect"the like, and/or future tense or conditional constructions ("will," "may," "could," "should," etc.), or similar expressions, identify certain of these forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are detailed in filings made by Life Technologies with the SecuritiesExchange Commission. Life Technologies undertakes no obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

Ion Torrent Contact
Wes Conard
415-385-4455
wes.conard@lifetech.com

SOURCE Life Technologies Corporation

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