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


Taiwanese firm Vita Genomics says it’s close to completing a SNP database of genetic variations among Asians, and expects to finish by July.


A consortium of transplant centers across Canada will receive $2 million in an effort to apply genomics advances, such as gene chip technology, to transplantation.


Paradigm Genetics will work with Duke University Medical Center in a multi-year research agreement to delve into metabolomics and identify and validate novel targets for drug discovery.


A US court found that Stratagene’s competent cell products do not infringe upon Invitrogen’s patent, enabling the company to continue marketing a reverse transcriptase enzyme.


Orchid BioSciences and First Genetic Trust teamed up in an alliance to provide pharmacogenetic services.


Belgian functional genomics company Devgen announced that it developed the first C. elegans genome-wide RNA interference library to study the 19,000 genes in the organism.


Caprion Pharmaceuticals and McGill University will collaborate in proteomics research. Caprion will provide funding for research by John Bergeron, a department chair at McGill and CSO of the company.

It must be getting fashionable to shed pieces of one’s business. Among the jetsam sold recently:

After getting rid of its ag genomics division to Paradigm Genetics last year, Celera Genomics sold the animal genomics and genotyping side of AgGen to MetaMorphix.

Deltagen agreed to acquire the California-based Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharma Research Labs, formerly known as CombiChem, from BMS, which acquired the labs last October.

Lion Bioscience sold all its shareholdings in Tripos, citing its own acquisition of NetGenics as fulfilling any prior need the company had for Tripos.

Genset sold its oligos division to Proligo, a subsidiary of Degussa for approximately 25 million.


Indiana, seeking to become a powerhouse in something other than basketball, continues its push in the genomics field. The Central Indiana Life Sciences Initiative, which includes among others Indiana University and Purdue University, will increase the number of jobs, businesses, and research opportunities in the field. Meanwhile, Eli Lilly joined with IU and PU to form the Indiana Proteomics Consortium to invent new instrumentation and techniques.


Edinburgh Biocomputing Systems turned in its company name for the more trendy Aneda. As in, “Aneda better Smith-Waterman to get my data!”

Look at that economy rebound! Genomics companies are proving it by opening new offices: Oxford GlycoSciences showed up in Bridgewater, NJ. Sequenom set up an Asia-Pacific headquarters in Queensland, Australia, for its growing customer base in the area. Pyrosequencing opened a facility in San Carlos, Calif., for a sales and support team. And Incyte sent a ship out east, setting up a primarily R&D shop in Newark, Del.


As part of the UK’s national science week last month, teams from Keele University and Daresbury Laboratory forged into uncharted territory: building the largest DNA model in existence. Planned to tower at 10 meters tall, the model would be recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records. It is composed of sections built by thousands of local schoolchildren as well as science celebs such as Francis Crick, Susan Greenfield, and Robert May.


Last year, Rick Klausner left the NIH for a post as president of the new Case Institute of Science, Health, and Technology. Since then, Klausner has headed instead for US counterterrorism efforts, and the Case Institute has quietly faded away. Jerry Dovalis, executive VP of the Case Foundation, explains that since the institute’s inauspicious launch on September 11, the Case family’s zeal for sci/tech has been diverted to more pressing national needs.


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.