Press Releases

Ion Torrent Delivers Newest Data in Race for Three $1 Million Prizes

Customers smash Ion’s internal record in pursuit of winning the Life Grand Challenges

CARLSBAD, Calif. – June 30, 2011 – Life Technologies Corporation today released second-quarter benchmark sequencing data for the $3 million Life Grand Challenges. Currently more than 500 Grand Challenges participants are competing to drive further performance improvement of the Ion Personal Genome Machine (PGM™) in three areas: sample preparation, base yield and accuracy.

The team at Ion has increased the internal Ion 314 chip record on the Ion PGM sequencer by over 75 percent to 80 Mb, from 47 Mb when the competition began on March 30. Many Ion Torrent customers have generated runs that matched or exceeded the March benchmark, yielding greater than four times the Ion 314 chip’s base yield specification. For instance, Edge BioServ, a next-generation sequencing services company, recently reported a 58.8 Mb run, almost six times chip’s specification. These results show how quickly a lab can generate high-volume semiconductor sequencing data with the Ion PGM sequencer.

To win the $1 million prize in any of the three categories, participants must beat the internal record at Ion Torrent by 2X through their own protocol improvements. The data released today include everything from raw voltages to aligned bases and is available to anyone who registers to participate in the Life Grand Challenges.

“True innovation comes from a collection of incentivized, curious scientists ripping apart the methods of others and making their own contribution to history,” said Dr. Jonathan M. Rothberg, Founder and CEO of Ion Torrent. “The Grand Challenges provide all scientists the opportunity to contribute directly to semiconductor sequencing and its potential impact on human health.”

In addition to the data release, Life Technologies is providing Grand Challenges participants with a wide range of resources to help them win the challenge. Additional sample data, source code, technical notes, user manuals and discussion forums are all available on the Ion Community. Community members, that now total more than 1,500, will also find links to BlogTalk Radio interviews with Ion’s top bioinformaticians, who explain what they are doing to improve the platform and suggest ideas competitors might pursue.

Entries for the three Life Grand Challenges rounds close on Sept. 15, 2011. Life Technologies announced a fourth Grand Challenge earlier this month that calls for solvers to sequence the entire murine genome and all RNA content derived from a single cancer cell using the 5500 Series SOLiD™ Sequencers.

About Life Technologies (
Life Technologies Corporation is a global biotechnology company dedicated to improving the human condition. Our systems, consumables and services enable researchers to accelerate scientific and medical advancements that make life even better. Life Technologies customers do their work across the biological spectrum, working to advance the fields of discovery and translational research, molecular medicine, stem cell-based therapies, food safety and animal health, and 21st century forensics. The company manufactures both molecular diagnostic and research use only products. Life Technologies' industry-leading brands are found in nearly every life sciences lab in the world and include innovative instrument systems under the Applied Biosystems and Ion Torrent names, as well as, the broadest range of reagents with its Invitrogen, GIBCO, Ambion, Molecular Probes and TaqManÒ products. Life Technologies had sales of $3.6 billion in 2010, has a workforce of approximately 11,000 people, has a presence in approximately 160 countries, and possesses one of the largest intellectual property estates in the life sciences industry, with approximately 3,900 patents and exclusive licenses. For more information on how we are making a difference, please visit our website:

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This press release includes forward-looking statements about our anticipated results that involve risks and uncertainties. Some of the information contained in this press release, including, but not limited to, statements as to industry trends and Life Technologies’ plans, objectives, expectations and strategy for its business, contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties 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” and 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 which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are detailed in filings made by Life Technologies with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Life Technologies undertakes no obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.


Life Technologies Contact
Mauricio Minotta

SOURCE Life Technologies Corporation

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