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Markers/Short Reads: Jun 1, 2005


NCI awarded 13 grants worth a total of $11 million for the next five years to fund its Early Detection Research Network. The grants went toward clinical epidemiology and validation centers; biomarker reference labs; an informatics center; and a data management and coordination facility.


Stratagene filed suit against Third Wave Technologies, claiming that the Madison, Wis.-based company infringed patents covering Stratagene’s quantitative nucleic acid detection technology. The company is seeking monetary damages as well as a permanent injunction against further infringement.


Roche and 454 Life Sciences signed an exclusive, five-year distribution agreement for Roche to sell 454’s sequencing technology. The deal is worth up to $62 million for 454. In separate news, 454’s parent company CuraGen announced that CEO Jonathan Rothberg stepped down and is replaced by Christopher McLeod.


Compugen says that Alex Kotzer will be its new president and CEO starting this fall. Kotzer, who was formerly a VP at Serono, replaces Compugen chief Mor Amitai.


Timothy Haines, currently CEO of Astex Technology, will replace Tom McNally as the new CEO of Whatman starting this fall.


David Galas, who has previously worked at the Keck Graduate Institute of Life Sciences and led the US Department of Energy’s part of the human genome program, is the new vice president and CSO for biological and life sciences at Battelle.


Icoria announced that CEO Heinrich Gugger resigned last month, and that Doug Morton will serve as the interim chief exec. Keith Davis, Icoria’s VP of agricultural biotechnology, and Jim Bucci, VP of human resources, will also be leaving the company midyear.


Genvault won an exclusive license to DNA labeling technology from the University of Texas. The patent covers a technology for labeling biological samples for future DNA analysis.


A team of researchers has sequenced the genome of Dictyostelium discoideum, a social amoeba that can alternate between unicellular and multicellular forms. The team was led by Ludwig Eichinger from the University of Cologne and by Adam Kuspa of Baylor College of Medicine.


Correlogic Systems has teamed up with the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and with the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine to co-develop a blood test that would detect prostate cancer using a protein pattern-recognition approach.


The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.