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Short Reads: Jul 1, 2011

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The UK's Royal Society has elected 44 new fellows and eight new foreign members. Among the new members are Robin Allshire at University of Edinburgh, Hagan Bayley from the University of Oxford, Doreen Cantrell at the University of Dundee, Alan Cowman at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong's Dennis Lo.

The UK's Technology Strategy Board and Medical Research Council plan to invest more than £3.7 million in seven personalized medicine projects. The investments are part of the Stratified Medicine Innovation Platform, which is giving more than £50 million in government funds to support tumor profiling and biomarker development to improve drug effectiveness studies.

Eric Schadt, Pacific Biosciences' chief scientific officer, is the new head of the Mount Sinai Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology in New York City. He will also run PacBio's Single Molecule Real-time Biology user facility, which will be based at Mount Sinai.

The National Human Genome Research Institute's National Advisory Council for Human Genome Research approved $123 million for the expansion of the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements Project.

The US Food and Drug Administration notified three more companies marketing genetic tests directly to consumers that their tests make medical claims or appear to qualify as medical devices, and thus should be regulated. Those letters were addressed to American International Biotechnology Services, Lumigenix, and Precision Quality DNA.

The Australian National University and BGI signed a memorandum of understanding to establish joint research programs, share staff and knowledge, and -create a new shared facility for genome sequencing. The new sequencing and bioinformatics facility will be located at ANU's John Curtin School of Medical Research.

Michael Pellini is the new president and CEO of Foundation Medicine. He succeeds Alexis Borisy, who will remain on the company's board of directors and serve as chairman. Previously, Pellini was president and chief operating officer of Clarient.

Frank Witney replaced Kevin King as CEO and president of Affymetrix. King resigned from Affy to "pursue other interests," after leading the company for four years. Witney most recently served as president and CEO of Dionex.

The Jackson Laboratory has decided not to expand into Florida, due to a lack of available state funding. Jackson Lab was seeking $100 million in state financing to open a facility in Sarasota County.

Cornell University researchers received a $3 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to study maize and wheat genomes to improve the varieties of crops that are grown by small farmers in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Australian firm Genetic Technologies filed a lawsuit against 10 companies for allegedly infringing on its primary non-coding DNA patent. Defendants named in the suit include Agilent Technologies, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eurofins STA Laboratories, GlaxoSmithKline, Navigenics, Pfizer, and 454 Life Sciences.

The UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation, which is to be based in London, has changed its name. It is now known as the Francis Crick Institute, in honor of the late British scientist.

Andy Watson is RainDance Technologies's new vice president and chief marketing officer. Previously, Watson was VP of SOLiD sequencing product management at Life Technologies.

Life Technologies launched a competition, offering a $1 million prize to the first SOLiD system user who succeeds in sequencing the genome and transcriptome of a single cancer cell.

Agilent Technologies launched an Integrated Biology Grant Program, and plans to award two $75,000 grants to support the development of open source data-integration tools for 'omics research.

Brian Monahan has stepped down from his position as chief financial officer at Bruker to spend more time with his family. Chief operating officer and former CFO William Knight will serve as interim CFO while the company searches for a replacement.

Christina Fleming is the new executive vice president of scientific and medical affairs at Advanced Clinical.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to support $2.7 million in state and local government projects to encourage evidence-based recommendations for genomic tests and other interventions for breast cancer.

The World Health Organization announced an effort to identify priorities for using genomics to address public health problems in developing nations.

The Scan

US Supports Patent Waivers

NPR reports that the Biden Administration has announced its support for waiving intellectual property protections for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Vaccines Versus Variants

Two studies find the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine to be effective against viral variants, and Moderna reports on booster shots to combat variants.

CRISPR for What Ails You

The Wall Street Journal writes that CRISPR-based therapies could someday be used to treat common conditions like heart attacks.

Nature Papers Review Integration of Single-Cell Assay Data, Present Approach to Detect Rare Variants

In Nature this week: review of ways to integrate data from single-cell assays, and more.