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Short Reads: Oct 1, 2003 (rev. 1)


Call it my big, fat, greasy study. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences awards the Lipid MAPS consortium a $35 million, five-year grant to study the full complement of lipids in the cell.


Agencourt Bioscience, having already swept up the sequencing service arm of competitor Genome Therapeutics, gets in bed with another. Run by the three brothers McKernan in Beverly, Mass., Agencourt announced in August a deal with Chicago’s Integrated Genomics to co-market a suite of library construction, sequencing, and bioinformatics services.


How many international teams of researchers does it take to sequence a batch of single-celled organisms? Three. Their work describing the sequences of three strains of Prochlorococcus and one closely related strain of Synechococcus — 2,000-gene organisms that convert solar energy to living biomass — is expected to contribute to global climate change studies. It appears in the August 13 issues of Nature and PNAS.


R. Graham Cooks and colleagues at Purdue are developing a protein biochip machine that uses a mass spec to take hundreds of proteins from a cell and deposit them onto specific locations on a chip without damaging them.

South African bioinformatics firm Electric Genetics goes bi-continental, with a new corporate HQ in Reston, Va. R&D remains in Cape Town.


The auctioneer is calling it the “largest sales event the biotech-nology industry has ever seen.” Any assets of the bankrupt Deltagen, including sequencing instruments, microarray scanners, and IT equipment, that weren’t snatched up at a pre-auction sale will be sold off October 15 and 16 at the company’s Redwood, Calif., facility.


Use of UCSC’s Genome Browser indicates that a lot of genomicists need a weekend off. The site is getting 100,000 to 200,000 hits per weekday, and 25,000 to 90,000 on weekends. Hits in the past year were tracked to about 29,000 different IP addresses.


Fastest supercomputer in the West, now available. PNNL is making its 11.8 teraflop HP Integrity system — the fastest unclassified machine in the US — available for work including systems biology and bioinformatics jobs by scientists worldwide. Details on the competitive proposal process available at


Is genomics a good investment again? The September edition of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance ranked ProFund Biotech UltraSector the number one healthcare mutual fund and Genomics Fund second through July.


The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.