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Short Reads: Mar 31, 2010


Pacific Biosciences announced the 10 institutions that have purchased its Single Molecule Real Time DNA sequencing system as part of its early-access program. These customers are Baylor College of Medicine; the Broad Institute; Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute; The Genome Center at Washington University; Monsanto; the National Cancer Institute/SAIC-Frederick; the National Center for Genome Resources; the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research; and Stanford University.

The Institute for Systems Biology will receive $6 million over five years from an anonymous California venture capitalist and philanthropist to go toward an expansion and move, the hiring of additional faculty, and research support.

Stephen Lombardi has left his position as president of Helicos BioSciences. Lombardi, who has also resigned from the firm's board of directors, will receive $375,000 in severance, plus stock options.

National Institutes of Health Deputy Director Raynard Kington will leave his position in July of this year to become the president of Grinnell College in Iowa. Kington joined NIH in 2000.

Transposagen Biopharmaceuticals has received more than $412,000 in Small Business Innovation Research funding, as well as $312,628 from the National Cancer Institute, and $100,000 in matching funds from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development's Department of Commercialization and Innovation to create a rat model of human colorectal cancer.

The NASDAQ Listing Qualification Department informed Bioanalytical Systems that it has failed to maintain the $1 minimum bid price for its common shares. Bioanalytical Systems has until August 31, 2010, to become in compliance with the minimum bid.

Nabsys received a $7 million investment as part of a Series B equity round led by Stata Venture Partners. These funds will go toward accelerating the development and commercialization of its DNA sequencing platform. In addition, Ray Stata, the venture firm's founder, has joined the Nabsys board of directors.

RainDance Technologies and Applied Biosystems, part of Life Technologies, have entered into an agreement to co-market RainDance's RDT 1000 Sequence Enrichment Solution with Applied Biosystems' SOLiD.

Brent Vose is the new chairman of the board of directors for Diaceutics, a consulting firm specializing in personalized medicine. Previously, Vose was the vice president and head of oncology and infection therapy at AstraZeneca.

The Lustgarten Foundation has formed a national pancreatic cancer research consortium and will award $10 million in grants this year for research into the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Patrick Loehrer is the new director of the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center. He had been serving as interim director since February 2009 after the death of founding director Stephen Williams.

Genome Canada will receive C$75 million under the national 2010 budget proposal from Prime Minister Stephen Harper's administration. It received no funding from the 2009 budget.

Dale Sanders will be the new director and CEO of the John Innes Centre. Sanders previously chaired the biology department at the University of York. He is suceeding Chris Lamb, who died last August.

Xenomics has changed its name to TrovaGene.

Ion Torrent Systems unveiled an electronic sequencer at a recent sequencing conference. The system reads DNA on a semiconductor chip by measuring the release of protons as nucleotides get incorporated by DNA polymerase. It is expected to cost around $50,000.

The National Human Genome Research Institute launched an online resource aimed at helping educators teach nurses and physician assistants about genomics, genetics, and their use in medicine. The Web-based resource, called the Genetics/Genomics Competency Center, was developed by the University of Virginia and funded by NHGRI.

With $14.3 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis will expand its genomic data center and increase its computer data storage capacity.

Sage Bionetworks will use a grant of $6.7 million from the NCI to establish a new interdisciplinary research and training center.

The Oregon State legislature approved a bill giving $9 -million to fund the construction of an Oregon State University institute to study the genomics of marine mammals.

The Scan

Myotonic Dystrophy Repeat Detected in Family Genome Sequencing Analysis

While sequencing individuals from a multi-generation family, researchers identified a myotonic dystrophy type 2-related short tandem repeat in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

TB Resistance Insights Gleaned From Genome Sequence, Antimicrobial Response Assays

Researchers in PLOS Biology explore M. tuberculosis resistance with a combination of sequencing and assays looking at the minimum inhibitory concentrations of 13 drugs.

Mendelian Disease Genes Prioritized Using Tissue-Specific Expression Clues

Mendelian gene candidates could be flagged for further functional analyses based on tissue-specific transcriptome and proteome profiles, a new Journal of Human Genetics paper says.

Single-Cell Sequencing Points to Embryo Mosaicism

Mosaicism may affect preimplantation genetic tests for aneuploidy, a single-cell sequencing-based analysis of almost three dozen embryos in PLOS Genetics finds.