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

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The European Commission paid 40 million to launch a new genomics research initiative to create an international mutant mouse analysis consortium, fund a proteomics project, and build the world’s largest database about human twins. These are the first of a four-year, 2.2 billion drive to be announced later this year.

 

New face for Phrap: Geospiza received a $1.1 million SBIR award from the NIH to continue work with Southwest Parallel Software on improving Phrap, originally developed by the University of Washington’s Phil Green.

 

I3C, founded by BIO, Whitehead, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, and Sun in February 2001, held its first official board meeting and elected officers: chair Tim Clark, vice-chair Jill Mesirov, Jeff Augen, Morrie Ruffin, and Sia Zadeh.

 

Illumina and Oxagen are working together to generate maps of SNP clusters across particular chromosome regions.

 

First prize, one week at the company’s new site. Second prize, two weeks. Madison, Wis.-based NimbleGen Systems opened its new genomics production and services facility to manufacture custom DNA arrays in Iceland.

 

Compugen and Millennium will share the costs of a project to develop software tools for prediction of protein pathways.

ID-Lelystad and Greenomics, both part of Wageningen University in the Netherlands, teamed up in a structural genomics and applied bioinformatics collaboration targeted at veterinary research.

 

Applied Biosystems/MDS Sciex Instruments won their mass spec patent infringement suit against Micromass, and the jury awarded damages of $47.5 million.

 

With the Amgen takeover, Immunex has drastically scaled back its so-called Helix Project facility on Seattle’s Elliott Bay from space for its original planned 1,200 researchers to 400 researchers.

 

Krug Consulting Group is a new marketing communications agency specializing in the industry and was founded by Jane Krug, former marketing VP at InforMax.

 

Illumina received a $1.2 million NCI grant to develop bead-based microarrays for protein profiling.

 

The journal Science felt the heat recently when 20 genome researchers, including Bob Waterston and Michael Ashburner, sent a letter protesting the publication of genome maps from sources who do not make the data publicly available.

 

Mark Schweiker, the Pennsylvania governor who succeeded Tom Ridge, announced the state’s much anticipated life sciences initiative, a $100 million investment from surplus tobacco-settlement funds.

Myriad Genetics said it was tapped by DuPont to help the chemical giant’s agbio division build a better seed. Myriad will get $24 million over two years to collect and deliver certain molecular-genetic information to the Pioneer unit in Des Moines, Iowa.

 

According to the “Einstein’s uranium” rumor overheard at ABRF, while digging the site for Princeton’s new facility, the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, workers found uranium lost there years ago by the scatter-brained scientist. Bob Barnett, project architect, says no such luck: “That’s totally inaccurate. There’s nothing radioactive on that site at all … just rock and dirt.” Doth the gentleman protest too much?

 

The best-company-name-we’ve-heard-lately award goes to Tm Bioscience, a microarray firm based in Toronto. With continual debates about enforcing the use of the trademark symbol, why not just make it your name?

 

Genome goes glitzy: Virginia Commonwealth University, Harvard, Medical Research Council/Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of California at San Francisco, University of Michigan, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison teamed up to sponsor a public television series exploring the genome sequence and related topics. The series will be distributed to high schools and universities, perhaps via forklift — “Secrets of the Sequence” consists of 52 half-hour segments.

 

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.