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Markers/Short Reads: Aug 1, 2003


Invitrogen announced that it would purchase 28-year-old Molecular Probes of Eugene, Ore., in a $325 million cash transaction expected to close in the third quarter. Molecular Probes, a provider of fluorescence-based technologies, had $56 million in revenues last year.


Apple has awarded The BioTeam, an IT consulting firm based in Cambridge, Mass., the Apple Design Award for Best Mac OS X Server Solution for the company’s Inquiry bioinformatics platform.


Orion Integrated Biosciences just kicked off, founded by Willy Valdivia Granda to commercialize the underlying bioinformatics technology for his work with pseudogenes at North Dakota State University.


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced that it has received a $5 million donation from alumni to establish a clinical genetics research center on its medical campus. The center will become part of the Carolina Center for Genome Scientists.


DOD awarded Diversa $1.38 million from its Chemical and Biological Defense Initiatives Fund to develop diagnostic and therapeutic antibodies against anthrax and to identify new targets associated with anthrax and the plague.

Galapagos Genomics of Mechelen, Belgium, has entered into an agreement to provide Proctor & Gamble with access to its novel osteoporosis targets involved in bone formation. Galapagos is eligible for option fees, milestone payments, and royalties on any future product sales.


The Indiana Proteomics Consortium officially changed its name to Inproteo, chosen to emphasize the commercial goals of the effort. The consortium, founded in 2002, hopes to commercialize its research by creating new companies, joint ventures, or licensing partnerships.


Hewlett-Packard gave Ohio State University an Itanium 2 server as part of a grant program to bring high-performance computing to the classroom. Researchers in OSU’s departments of computer and information science and biomedical informatics will use the server, with a list price of $388,598, for projects in high-performance cluster architecture, data-intensive computing, comparative genomics, and medical image analysis.


The University of South Florida said it would break ground on two buildings this year to house its center for biological defense and expand its business incubator, adding more than 200,000 square feet for laboratories and offices. This expanded space will allow the incubator to triple in size.

Added support for a project to monitor emerging and potentially pathogenic viruses in the human population came from Norman and Leigh Anderson of the Viral Defense Foundation and Plasma Proteome Institute, who published a paper in Emerging Infectious Diseases last month proposing a system for systematically isolating viruses from large pooled samples of human serum and plasma, and shotgun sequencing their DNA to determine identity.


Researchers at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Washington University School of Medicine, and the University of Washington announced new findings on how the Y chromosome manages to keep itself free of genetic mistakes. Because it can’t exchange sequence information with its homologous chromosome, the Y must instead share information between the two arms that make up the chromosome itself.


The Public Library of Science will kick off an awareness campaign this fall. The group''s cause got some lift recently, in the form of a bill introduced by Representative Martin Sabo (D-MN) that would require research funded by the US government to be freely available without copyright restrictions.


Dutch microarray firm PamGene raised €10 million in a second financing round, which will go toward development and marketing of its new array platform, scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2004.


The Scan

Researchers Compare WGS, Exome Sequencing-Based Mendelian Disease Diagnosis

Investigators find a diagnostic edge for whole-genome sequencing, while highlighting the cost advantages and improving diagnostic rate of exome sequencing in EJHG.

Researchers Retrace Key Mutations in Reassorted H1N1 Swine Flu Virus With Avian-Like Features

Mutations in the acidic polymerase-coding gene boost the pathogenicity and transmissibility of Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza viruses, a PNAS paper finds.

Genome Sequences Reveal Evolutionary History of South America's Canids

An analysis in PNAS of South American canid species' genomes offers a look at their evolutionary history, as well as their relationships and adaptations.

Lung Cancer Response to Checkpoint Inhibitors Reflected in Circulating Tumor DNA

In non-small cell lung cancer patients, researchers find in JCO Precision Oncology that survival benefits after immune checkpoint blockade coincide with a dip in ctDNA levels.