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Amersham Pharmacia Biotech, the life sciences division of Nycomed Amersham plc, recently announced the release by the University of Washington of a new version of PHRED, a crucial sequencing data analysis program used by high-throughput DNA sequencing facilities. This new version of PHRED is re-calibrated for data produced by the MegaBACE 1000 DNA sequencer. It is the only capillary sequencer to be validated with this new version of PHRED. Brent Ewing, PhD, at the University of Washington Molecular Biotechnology Department, said:
We originally developed PHRED for use with older, fluorescent slab gel systems. The data produced by capillary sequencers required a refinement to the program and validation to ensure agreement between predicted quality values and actual quality values in PHRED … We have verified that the quality values assigned by PHRED are accurate for data produced by MegaBACE, and we used over four million base pairs of data supplied by the genome community to calibrate PHRED for it. The community can be confident in using data generated by MegaBACE.
Dr Ewing has also worked with Amersham Pharmacia Biotech to enable this version of PHRED to accept the MegaBACE file format directly, further streamlining the data analysis process. The new version is now available as an update to existing PHRED users.