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NIH Sets Aside New $100K-$500K SBIR Grants for RNAi Research

NEW YORK, Jan. 31 (GenomeWeb News) - The National Institutes of Health will be awarding grants to members of the small business community to support efforts that "develop new approaches and chemical modifications that will increase the long term stability, delivery, and targeting of siRNAs in cells and tissues for laboratory and therapeutic applications," the NIH said last week.


Budgets up to $100,000 per year, and time periods up to two years for Phase I programs, may be requested, the NIH noted. Budgets up to $500,000 per year, and up to three years, may be requested for Phase II programs.


According to the NIH, "the need to combine high specificity with high potency is important to the continued development of siRNA in research and therapy development." As such, the award program "will focus on techniques and technologies leading to improved chemical synthesis and delivery of RNAi, particularly those incorporating chemical modifications that change the properties of the siRNA molecules to increase their stability and their ability to be delivered more efficiently to target cells without increasing their toxicity."


The awards will be made under the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer mechanisms, the NIH said. The number of awards will depend on the merits of the applications and the availability of funds.


Additional details about the funding opportunities are available here.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.