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Genetic Association Information Network, Affymetrix, DNAStar, MDS, NimbleGen

Genetic Association Information Network to Use Affy's SNP 6.0 Arrays
The Genetic Association Information Network, a public and private partnership, will use Affymetrix's Genome-Wide Human SNP Array 6.0 in genomic studies of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, Affy said this week.
GAIN is run by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, the National Institutes of Health, and Pfizer Global Research and Development.
Affy said GAIN scientists will use the Human SNP 6.0 to analyze eight thousand samples from various ethnicities.
The company also said the GAIN program will provide information it collects to researchers worldwide through the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s database of Genotype and Phenotype, or dbGaP.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.
Affy launched the Array 6.0 in late May and is hoping the new chip will help the firm take back some market share from Illumina (see related article).

DNAStar Joins Affymetrix GeneChip Program
DNAStar last week said that its ArrayStar microarray data-analysis software has become compatible with Affymetrix’ Gene Chip microarray platform.
The company now becomes a member of the Affymetrix GeneChip-compatible Applications Program.
DNAStar said the companies will now be able to promote each other’s products through website, training, and promotion channels.

MDS Files to Buy Back Shares
MDS this week filed with the Toronto Stock Exchange to buy back up to 4.5 million of its common shares over the next 12 months.
The potential buyback relates to MDS’ shares that float on the Toronto exchange, and has no bearing on its shares that float on the New York Stock Exchange.
As of June 26, MDS had 122.5 million shares issued and outstanding on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

NimbleGen Among Recipients of NIH Grants for Cancer Genome Atlas Program
Nimblegen Systems this week received a $415,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to support the development of new technologies for the Cancer Genome Atlas pilot program.
NimbleGen was one of eight recipients of two-year awards from the NIH worth a total of $3.4 million to support the program. The firm, which recently agreed to be acquired by Roche for $272.5 million, will use high-density oligonucleotide arrays to select genomic regions for DNA sequence analysis.
The Cancer Genome Atlas, a joint initiative of the National Cancer Institute and the National Human Genome Research Institute that kicked off in late 2005, aims to "test the feasibility of a large-scale, systematic approach to identifying the changes that occur in the genomes of cancer cells," NIH said in a statement.
"The goal is to generate genomic information that the research community can use to develop new and improved strategies for detecting, treating and, ultimately, preventing cancer," NIH said.
Other than NimbleGen, the following investigators and institutions will use the NIH funds for a number of studies that will generate large amounts of data focused on cancer genomics:
  • Baylor College of Medicine's Aleksandar Milosavljevic will receive $413,000 to develop methods based on next-generation sequencing platforms to investigate structural variations in the genomes of cancer cells.
  • City of Hope/Beckman Research Institute's Gerd Pfeifer will receive $465,000 to study DNA methylation in cancer genomes.
  • Benjamin Tycko, of Columbia University, will receive $443,000 to use high-density oligonucleotide arrays to characterize genomic aberrations and DNA methylation. Timothy Bestor, also at Columbia University, will receive $362,000 to develop methods for high-throughput of DNA methylation.
  • Johns Hopkins University's Andrew Feinberg will use $464,000 to develop new approaches for investigating allele-specific gene expression patterns.
  • Stanford University's Ronald Davis will receive $429,000 to develop methods for high-throughput isolation of genomic regions for DNA sequence analysis.
  • Peggy Farnham of the University of California, Davis, will use $418,000 to develop ChIP-chip assays to study cancer-associated changes in genomic regions that are important in gene regulation, using small fragments of cancer tissue.

The Scan

Not Immediately Told

The US National Institutes of Health tells lawmakers that one of its grantees did not immediately report that it had developed a more infectious coronavirus, Science says.

Seems Effective in Kids

The Associated Press reports that the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children appears to be highly effective at preventing symptomatic disease.

Intelligence Warning on Bioeconomy Threats

US intelligence warns over China's focus on technologies and data related to the bioeconomy, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Campylobacteriosis Sources, Inherited Retinal Dystrophies, Liver Cancer Prognosis

In PLOS this week: approach to uncover source of Campylobacteriosis, genetic risk factors for inherited retinal dystrophies, and more.