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Australian State Inks Contract for Cepheid Platform, MRSA Test

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Cepheid said today that Australia’s State of Victoria will use the firm’s GeneXpert system and Xpert MRSA tests for screening patients at high risk for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in up to 11 hospitals.
Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Cepheid said that the purchases are part of the ‘Start Clean’ Victorian Infection Control Strategy, a five-year program under which all 76 public hospitals in the state will need to provide public reporting of healthcare-acquired infections by the end of 2009.
Cepheid noted that the program includes a pay-for-performance concept that links federal funding to compliance timelines for hospitals. In addition to the screening and reporting components, the compliance strategy includes guidelines for use of antibiotics, hospital cleanliness, and hand hygiene.
Cepheid did not disclose how much the contract is worth.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.