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Markers Short Reads: Jan 1, 2004


The cow genome project is finally underway. The Department of Agriculture announced at the end of last year that the $53 million project will kick off with genomic DNA sequencing at the Baylor genome center and cDNA sequencing taking place at Genome British Columbia.


The first draft of the chimp genome is now public. The project was led by Eric Lander and Rick Wilson. The sequence data are available in GenBank and alignment to human sequence can be viewed through NCBI, Ensembl, and the University of California, Santa Cruz, Genome Browser.


Affymetrix and Arcturus Biosciences announce a collaboration to design new tools that would allow for gene expression analysis on paraffin-embedded tissues. The final product will use reagents from Arcturus and the custom human array from Affy.


The newly formed Aurora Discovery buys almost all of the assets of Aurora Instruments, an organization established to commercialize instrumentation from Aurora Biosciences after it was acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Aurora Discovery will continue commercialization of the instruments as well as additional technologies in development.

California microfluidics company Nanostream opens an office in Princeton, NJ, to help promote sales on the East Coast.


TIGR sequences the bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens, which may be useful for bioremediation — particularly in cleaning up radioactive materials.


Duke University’s Philip Benfey and his team publish a paper showing a gene expression map for Arabidopsis, elucidating when and where more than three-fourths of the plant’s genes turn on.


Helix BioMedix and Pyxis Genomics form an alliance for a microarray screening study of a peptide library for possible therapeutics that could boost an animal’s immune system.


Ingenium Pharmaceuticals rounds up €13.8 million in its latest financing. Leading investors are HBM BioVentures, Polaris Venture Partners, and Techno Venture Management.


Thanks to a five-year agreement with Roche Diagnostics, Kansas City is home to a new Molecular Center of Excellence. The center, established through an agreement between Roche Dx and Saint Luke’s Health System, a local diagnostic and clinical testing provider, will use Roche PCR and genomic technologies to do molecular diagnostic testing.

DynaMetrix and the Karolinska Institute team up with NCI through its Cancer Genome Anatomy Project to study probable causal SNPs to help understand differences in proteins between people.


Prolexys Pharmaceuticals pairs up with the Whitehead Institute for the next two years to find new cancer targets by using Whitehead compounds in mass spectrometry and chemiproteomics experiments.


Arizona’s play to become a biotech hotbed keeps steaming along. Under a new agreement, Scottsdale, Ariz., will build a new $25 million research center with help from the Translational Genomics Research Institute and the Mayo Clinic.


Tokyo-based Gene Networks raises $4 million in a second-stage funding round.The financing is led by Innovation Engine and will go toward beefing up the company’s Cambridge, UK, office.


Tm Bioscience pockets CA$7.3 million from Technology Partnerships Canada to develop genetic tests. The total project will run on CA$25 million and aims for at least five tests to be completed by 2006.


Galapagos and Bayer team up in a collaboration to validate novel drug targets. Galapagos will use an siRNA-based platform and cellular assays in Bayer’s disease areas of interest.


The Scan

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.

Machine Learning Improves Diagnostic Accuracy of Breast Cancer MRI, Study Shows

Combining machine learning with radiologists' interpretations further increased the diagnostic accuracy of MRIs for breast cancer, a Science Translational Medicine paper finds.

Genome Damage in Neurons Triggers Alzheimer's-Linked Inflammation

Neurons harboring increased DNA double-strand breaks activate microglia to lead to neuroinflammation like that seen in Alzheimer's disease, a new Science Advances study finds.

Long COVID-19 Susceptibility Clues Contained in Blood Plasma Proteome

A longitudinal study in eBioMedicine found weeks-long blood plasma proteome shifts after SARS-CoV-2 infection, along with proteomic signatures that appeared to coincide with long Covid risk.