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NIH, IBM, Indigo BioSystems, Washington University, Bruker Biosciences

NIH Sets Aside $10 Million for New
PGx-Related Funding Opportunities

Three institutes of the National Institutes of Health have set aside more than $10 million over the next three years in a search for the design and analysis of genome-wide association studies for a variety of diseases, according to a request for applications issued by the agency last week.

The purpose of the request is to "develop and test innovative, informative, and cost-effective study designs and analytical strategies to perform genome-wide association studies on diseases such as those affecting the heart, lung, blood, and sleep."

The initiative, which is set to run until July 2005, is a joint effort between the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; the National Human Genome Research Institute; the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences; and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

The NHLBI intends to commit $1.8 million in FY 2006 and $5.4 million over three years to fund five to six new grants; the NIEHS will commit $500,000 in FY 2006 and $1.5 million over three years to fund one to two new grants; and the NIGMS has earmarked $300,000 in FY 2006 and $900,000 over three years to fund one new grant. NHGRI will conduct the peer review of applications and manage the program, according to the request.

The funding opportunity will use the U01 award mechanism, and is open to both for-profit and nonprofit organizations.

Separately, the NIH last week issued a program announcement under which the National Institute of Mental Health will provide an unspecified amount of funding for deep sequencing and haplotype profiling of mental disorders.

According to the PA, applications may propose "new technologies for cost-effective whole genome analysis and in-depth sequencing and analysis of candidate genes and genomic regions in pedigrees or in a sample of unrelated cases with mental disorders."

The NIH said that no funds have been set aside for the initiative, and the size and duration of each award is expected to vary. The funding opportunity will use the R01 mechanism, and is open to both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. It is set to run until July 2008.

IBM to Co-Develop Repository for Storing
Raw Proteomics Data with Indigo BioSystems

IBM and Indigo BioSystems are co-developing a public proteomics database by using IBM's hardware and Indigo's archiving technology, the companies said this week.

The model database will store raw human proteomics data from a variety of instruments using opens standards developed by the Proteomics Standards Initiative of the Human Proteome Organization and web services to access the data. The information will be available to researchers worldwide for data mining.

The archive will use IBM's Linux on Power hardware, DB2 database, and WebSphere application server, as well as Indigo's True Blue archive technology. Indigo, based in Indianapolis, first developed the technology to manage data of a large pharmaceutical drug disposition group, and later applied it to proteomics.

Washington University Sequencing
Center Buys a BlueArc Titan System

The Genome Sequencing Center at Washington Universityin St. Louis has bought a BlueArc multi-tiered Titan system with more than 60 terabytes of capacity, the company said this week.

According to BlueArc, the Titan system will "double" the center's available storage capacity, "bringing the group's installed data to more than 120 terabytes." The multi-tiered storage configuration features more than 60 terabytes in a mixed offering of high-performance Fibre Channel and high-density Serial ATA drives.

Financial terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Bruker Shares Continue to Climb After
CEO Laukien Buys $1.1M Worth of Stock

Bruker Biosciences CEO Frank Laukien bought more than $1.1 million worth of his company's shares since May 10, sending the stock up 12.7 percent to $3.99 in mid-afternoon trading Wednesday.

According to, which tracks insider trading at public companies, Laukien bought 277,430 shares of Bruker stock at prices between $3.60 and $3.00 per share between May 10 and May 17.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.