Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

This Heart's Not for Sale


Framingham Genomics Medicine, a company founded with $21 million in venture capital and led in part by Fred Ledley, former CEO and president of Variagenics, plans to close its doors. Formed to organize data from the 52-year-old Framingham Heart Study, the company was forced to disband after Boston University and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute denied it access to the data.

The conflict between the study’s insistence on free academic access and the company’s need for profitability led to an impasse between the groups, says Kevin Carleton, a spokesman for BU. The for-profit closed its doors when academia won out.

That doesn’t mean that BU’s original idea for data organization has been totally thwarted. Study data has not been assembled in a way that facilitates “aggressive analysis,” says Carleton. “Much of [the data] was collected in the pre-computer era,” he explains. In a letter to some 6,000 study subjects, Claude Lenfant, director of NHLBI, and Aram Chobanian, dean of BU’s School of Medicine, write that the effort will continue “through more traditional avenues, such as grants, contracts, and donations.”

— Marian Moser Jones

The Scan

Review of Approval Process

Stat News reports the Department for Health and Human Services' Office of the Inspector General is to investigate FDA's approval of Biogen's Alzheimer's disease drug.

Not Quite Right

A new analysis has found hundreds of studies with incorrect nucleotide sequences reported in their methods, according to Nature News.

CRISPR and mRNA Together

Time magazine reports on the use of mRNA to deliver CRISPR machinery.

Nature Papers Present Smartphone Platform for DNA Diagnosis of Malaria, Mouse Lines for Epigenomic Editing

In Nature this week: a low-cost tool to detect infectious diseases like malaria, and more.