TwinStrand raises $16M from Madrona and others for next-gen DNA sequencing, promising early cancer detection and other breakthroughs

Jesse Salk, TwinStrand’s CEO, chief scientific officer and co-founder. (TwinStrand Photo) TwinStrand Biosciences, a Seattle startup developing next-generation DNA sequencing technology that promises to lead to early cancer detection, rapid identification of carcinogens and other breakthroughs, has raised $16 million in a Series A funding round led by Madrona Venture Group. The company, a University of Washington spinout, says its DNA sequencing method, known as Duplex Sequencing, uses cloud technologies and advanced error-correction algorithms to allow researchers and clinicians to find rare genetic variants with 10,000 times more accuracy than standard sequencing techniques. TwinStrand, which has just under 30 employees, is planning to launch its first product this quarter. Founded… Read More

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America’s Coal Consumption Entered Free Fall in 2019

Here’s the good news, such as it is, for the climate: American coal consumption plunged last year, reaching its lowest level since 1975 as electrical utilities switched to cheaper natural gas and renewables. Over the last decade and a half, coal’s collapse has saved tens of thousands of lives nationwide, according to new research, and cut national greenhouse-gas emissions by more than 10 percent. The bad news is almost everything else. Outside of the power sector, the country’s planet-warming pollution continued to grow last year. Almost three decades after climate change first became a political issue, the American economy remains a continent-sized machine that guzzles fossil fuels and excretes money.… Read More

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Trump administration’s new AI principles seek to limit regulatory ‘overreach’ to promote innovation

President Donald Trump speaking at the Economic Club of New York in November. (Official White House Photo / Shealah Craighead) The Trump administration is proposing a new set of principles for federal agencies to follow when creating regulations for artificial intelligence technologies used in the private sector. Goals of the principles include limiting “regulatory overreach,” ensuring public participation, and promoting the development of “trustworthy” artificial intelligence, according to briefing documents provided to reporters in advance. The White House is releasing the principles Tuesday at the behest of President Donald Trump, under the American AI Initiative. Future regulations on artificial intelligence could have an outsized impact on Amazon and Microsoft, two… Read More

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