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Short Reads: Mar 1, 2002 (rev. 1)

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Affymetrix has launched the first commercial human DNA array to use data from the publicly available human genome draft sequence.

 

DeCode Genetics has two new collabs: a pharmacogenomics one with Pharmacia to study heart disease, and a discovery/development one with Roche.

 

Génome Québec and McGill University have worked out an arrangement to establish and fund three international genomics projects and a related science and technology platform. Génome Québec will invest almost $85 million in the university over four years, which is expected to start a Genomic Service Centre and could make Québec one of the 10 leading genomics centers in the world.

 

The Exelixis/Aventis lovechild, Agrinomics, announced that it has identified most of the Arabidopsis thaliana genome in less than 18 months, exceeding a second-year milestone.

 

BD Biosciences and the Harvard Institute of Proteomics entered a collaboration to clone genes and determine their function.

 

The University of Groningen and the Academic Hospital in the Netherlands will each invest roughly $2 million to help bolster the university’s Genomic Centre and allow for more researchers.

 

The Beijing Genomics Institute announced it had completed a working draft of the rice genome of the subspecies indica.

 

Cambridge, UK’s structure-based discovery company Astex Technology plans to build a 36,000-square-foot facility to house up to 150 research scientists studying technologies to identify small-molecule therapeutics.

 

Compugen established a majority-owned subsidiary called Agro-Leads, which will focus on plant genomics and ag biotech. Offices and labs are in Rehovot, Israel.

 

Structural GenomiX has been busy lately. It announced the completion of automated high-throughput crystallization imaging technology with RoboDesign International. SGX also will collaborate with Aventis on lead compound identification and has partnered with Millennium Pharmaceuticals for drug discovery.

 

The North Carolina Supercomputing Center was named the US mirror site for the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics’ Expert Protein Analysis System proteomics server.

 

Illumina and Johns Hopkins Medical University’s Institute of Genetic Medicine have signed an agreement for Illumina to genotype samples brought in by the institute.

 

The US DOE’s Genomes to Life program, relieved at having survived a potential delay or cut altogether, has a budget of $19.5 million and is looking for grant submissions, due by early April.

 

Need a way to amuse yourself at work — and still look busy? We’re entertained (for hours) by the mouse cursor on proteomics firm XZillion’s website.

 

The Netherlands is looking for its niche in genomics. Five members of the country’s parliament met in late January to discuss the direction genomics research should take, though there was dissent on the government’s role in this.

 

The CuraGen/Bayer deal has begun to pay off. The companies have finished screening four of the 31 small-molecule targets they selected in the obesity and diabetes research, and Bayer says those four targets are “high priority.”

 

The UK’s Medical Research Council licensed Celera’s Discovery System in a multi-year deal that will grant access to a consortium of academic researchers.

 

If for no other reason, we have to include this one because its press release gave us the best laugh this month: the Canadian Museum of Nature announced the country’s first national traveling genomics exhibit, called ‘Putting the Geee! In Genome.’

 

The Scan

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.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.