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Short Reads: Nov 1, 2012


BGI-Shenzhen has announced that it is purchasing Complete Genomics in a deal estimated to be worth about $117.6 million. Under the terms of the merger, BGI will pay $3.15 per share in cash for Complete -Genomics. Complete Genomics will continue to operate as a separate company and remain in Mountain View, Calif., the firms say. Since the announcement, a number of lawsuits have been filed to block the sale, citing a breach of fiduciary duties.

23andMe released an application programming interface that will allow authorized third-party developers to build a broad range of apps for the web and mobile devices.

Christopher Austin has taken on the role of the first director of the new National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, which launched at the beginning of the year. Thomas Insel was the acting director of NCATS.

Roche's Translational Clinical Research Center will be located in New York City at the Alexandria Center for Life Science on Manhattan's East Side. Roche will be moving about 200 employees into its new space at the end of 2013.

Jane Rogers will be stepping down as the director of the UK's Genome Analysis Centre at the end of the year.

Illumina has acquired Cambridge, UK-based BlueGnome, which sells the CytoChip test for genetic abnormalities associated with developmental delay or with complex leukemias.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation have asked the US Supreme Court to review the recent mixed decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which affirmed the patentability of isolated genes, but also suggested that some methods of comparing or analyzing gene sequences may not be patentable.

Knome is taking orders for its KnoSys 100 system that bundles its genome interpretation software with a compute cluster. The system accepts data from Illumina, Life Technologies, and Complete Genomics sequencers. It will begin shipping in the fourth quarter and will have a starting price of $125,000.
Sarkis Masmanian, a microbiologist at the California Institute of Technology, has been named a 2012 MacArthur Foundation Fellow.

Dennis Lo has received the Ernesto Illy Trieste Science Prize, which is given to scientists living and working in developing countries whose research affects sustainable development.

The National Human Genome Research Institute has awarded $30.3 million in new grants to expand its Encyclopedia of DNA Elements project. NHGRI says that the new round of ENCODE awards will expand studies of functional elements to more human tissue and cell types as well as more types of data.

The University of Miami is launching a master's degree program that aims to teach future doctors how to understand and use patients' genomic information to personalize care.

Third Rock Ventures has hired Felix Frueh as an entrepreneur-in-residence. Frueh is the past president of the Medco Research Institute and, prior to that, he served as the associate director for genomics at the US Food and Drug Administration.

The Human Frontier Science Program Organization awarded Stephen Quake the 2013 Nakasone Award for his work on developing technologies in biophysics, biological automation, genome analysis, and personalized medicine.

Max Coppes is the new president of the BC Cancer Agency in Vancouver. Previously, Coppes was senior VP of the Children's National Medical Centre.

Raymond DuBois is taking over as the executive director of Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute in the beginning of December.

The Scan

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.

Study Reviews Family, Provider Responses to Rapid Whole-Genome Sequencing Follow-up

Investigators identified in the European Journal of Human Genetics variable follow-up practices after rapid whole-genome sequencing.

BMI-Related Variants Show Age-Related Stability in UK Biobank Participants

Researchers followed body mass index variant stability with genomic structural equation modeling and genome-wide association studies of 40- to 72-year olds in PLOS Genetics.

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.