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

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Reaching across the Atlantic: the Genome Spain Foundation and Genome Canada announced a partnership to cooperate on large genomics projects to promote the industry within both countries.

 

Qiagen will acquire reagent and nucleic acid company GenoVision and will add the firm’s magnetic particle technology to its portfolio.

 

The verdict is in! NHGRI announced the new priority organisms based on its call for pleas, and the winners are: chicken, chimp, various species of fungi, honeybee, sea urchin, and protozoan Tetrahymena thermophila.

 

Streamline Proteomics, with headquarters in Birmingham, Mich., looks to expand its potential market with a name change to Verity Biosystems. Sloan Ventures’ John Siverling has taken on the CEO position and hopes to commercialize the company’s first product within the next year. Meanwhile, Verity’s staff is getting used to new lab space leased from Wayne State University in Detroit.

 

Sigma-Aldrich and Chromagen will collaborate on new fluorescence-based assays for high-throughput screening.

 

Amersham Biosciences will take a controlling stake in informatics firm Cimarron Software, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, with the option to acquire the entire company over the next three years.

 

You never knew how good you had it. The latest edition of the Jobs Rated Almanac ranks biologist as best overall job in the US, beating out actuaries (#2) and financial planners (#3). (Software engineers also made it into the top 10.) Not convinced? Just be glad you’re not a cowboy, fisherman, or lumberjack — the three lowest-ranking jobs in the country, according to the study, based on salary, stress, and job security, among others.

 

Boston University School of Medicine and Beyond Genomics paired up for a research alliance to establish programs in areas such as cardiovascular disease, oncology, and central nervous system disorders.

 

Matritech and Bruker Daltonics have agreed to jointly develop an automated mass spec system for clinical labs to use with Matritech’s proteomics-based cancer tests.

 

Lee Hood’s Institute for Systems Biology has already spun out three companies, he said at a conference recently. They are Cytopia (cell sorting machines), Macrogenics (cancer genomics), and Cell Trans (stem cell work).

 

At least there’s some money out there. Functional genomics firm Athersys announced the completion of a $16.2 million round of funding, and Deltagen closed a $25.3 million round as well.

Affinium Pharmaceuticals partnered with Pfizer to do structure-guided drug discovery for the pharma’s therapeutics programs based on targets supplied by Pfizer.

 

Libraria and Rigel Pharmaceuticals will work together using small molecule discovery technology to take genomic targets down the road to development.

 

GlaxoSmithKline sold much of its stake in Affymetrix — 3 million shares — shrinking its ownership in the company from 13 percent to less than nine percent.

 

NHGRI chose Baylor’s sequencing center, under the guidance of Richard Gibbs, to sequence Drosophila pseudoobscura over the next year with a $5 million grant.

 

Danish microarray company Exiqon closed its US sales office and laid off much of its sales and some of its R&D staff. The company is now pursuing “an M&A strategy,” according to Lars Kongsbak, vice president for business development.

 

Australia-based Proteome Systems and Japanese trading company Itochu plan to launch Proteome Systems Japan, a joint venture to provide R&D services in proteomics and bioinformatics.

 

The Scan

mRNA-Based Vaccine on the Way in China

China may soon have its own mRNA-based vaccine, according to Nature News.

Arranged Killing, Fraud Alleged by Prosecutors

The Wall Street Journal reports that prosecutors allege that the co-founder of a biotech arranged to have a business associate who threatened to expose him as a fraud killed.

Whirlwind Decade of CRISPR

The New York Times looks back at the 10 years since the University of California, Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues published their CRISPR paper.

PNAS Papers on Blue Cone Monochromacy Structural Variants, HIV-1 Mutant, T-ALL

In PNAS this week: structural variants linked to blue cone monochromacy, HIV-1 variants affecting the matrix protein p17, and more.