CARLSBAD, Calif., May 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) today announced that Ion PGM™ now significantly outperforms its competitor on the major performance metrics for benchtop sequencing. It offers the simplest and fastest workflow, lowest cost-per-sample, and highest sensitivity for multiple basic and clinical research applications—all on a sequencer that is a fraction of the cost of the alternative. The performance gains are the result of upfront sample prep automation, new Ion PGM™ semiconductor chips that deliver up to 10-fold greater throughput, and improved variant-calling software. Life Technologies is also shipping a redesigned Ion PGM™ Sequencer priced 30 percent less than the original, a savings realized by leveraging the significant economies of scale in electronics manufacturing. See http://www.lifetechnologies.com/pgm for more. "Ion PGM™ and Ion AmpliSeq™ technology have transformed gene panel sequencing by making it faster, simpler, and more accessible, and that's made us the number-one benchtop sequencer in the market," said Maneesh Jain, VP of Marketing at Ion Torrent. "Today's new advances make gene panel sequencing on the Ion platform superior to our competitor by every major performance metric." Ion AmpliSeq™ gene panels enable scientists to amplify over 6,000 targets in a single tube in 3.5 hours with only 10 ng of input sample. In the past 18 months, over 1,500 scientists have designed more than 5,000 different Ion AmpliSeq™ gene panels, indicating broad adoption of this game-changing technology. Simplest and fastest* workflow: automated solution for gene panel sequencingTogether, Ion AmpliSeq™ gene panels and the Ion PGM™ System deliver the industry's simplest and fastest gene panel workflow. The upcoming Ion Chef™ System provides a fully automated solution for sample prep up front of the Ion PGM™ and Ion Proton™ sequencers. This enables a sample-to-result workflow that far outperforms our competitor, with a more than two-fold advantage in turnaround time, hands-on time, and number of pipetting steps. Best accuracy: up to 100 percent sensitivity for multiple gene panelsIn the past, researchers transitioning from studying individual genes and mutations, to sequencing gene panels were seriously challenged by identifying all the mutations present in the sample. Ion AmpliSeq™ technology coupled with the new, tunable Torrent Suite v3.6 software provides up to 100 percent sensitivity for multiple panels, enabling researchers to see their variants of interest. Additionally, the new Ion Reporter 1.6 Software enables researchers to rapidly annotate and filter variants, completing the gene panel design and analysis workflow. Two research groups that used an Ion AmpliSeq™ Community panel for sequencing the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes recently showed the accuracy and sensitivity of Ion PGM™ technology. The genes, which have been implicated in hereditary breast and ovarian cancers, are often difficult to sequence because there are many mutations scattered throughout the gene, including many truncating mutations and homopolymer regions.