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Short Reads: Oct 3, 2011

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Laurie Glimcher, a Harvard University professor, has been named the new dean of Weill Cornell Medical College. Glimcher is also on the board of directors of Bristol-Myers Squibb and Waters, and is on Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center's advisory board.

John Mattick is the new executive director of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. He succeeds John Shine, who is retiring.

Mark Guyer, who currently directs the National Human Genome Research Institute's Division of Extramural Research, has been appointed the institute's deputy director.

Jeff Fitzgerald is the new director of business development at Expression Analysis. He previously worked for Affymetrix and was a cancer biomarker researcher at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Steven Smith is the new vice president of bioinformatics at Orion Genomics. Previously, Smith was VP of bioinformatics at NimbleGen Systems.

Anthony Altar is the new senior vice president and chief science officer at AssureRx. In addition, Karen Schellin has been named VP of finance, and Alexander Burges is the new VP of marketing.

US President Barack Obama signed a bill that will change the country's patent culture. The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act will convert the US to a first-to-file from a first-to-invent system, and create a post-grant review process.

The Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Pathologists, and the British Society for Human Genetics released a set of recommendations for healthcare professionals on how to handle the ethical and legal issues of clinical genetic testing technologies.

A study by the American Society of Human Genetics found that US high school students may not be getting a sufficient education in basic genetics, and that most states do not have adequate standards to provide the knowledge required to understand the science underlying personalized medicine.

Daniel Forche is resigning as senior vice president of sales and marketing for CombiMatrix Diagnostics. He is leaving to pursue other opportunities.

John Wingfield is the new division director of Integrative Organismal Systems at the US National Science Foundation's Directorate for Biological Sciences.

Michael Sundström is the new vice president of discovery research at Karolinska Development, and CEO of its Actar AB subsidiary. Most recently, he was managing director of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research.

Anna Barker will direct the Transformative Healthcare Networks and co-direct the Complex Adaptive Systems Initiative at Arizona State University. She is the former deputy director for strategic scientific initiatives at the National Cancer Institute.

Plaintiffs and defendants in a lawsuit seeking to overturn Myriad Genetics' BRCA patents have filed separate briefs with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit seeking a rehearing of the case.

The National Human Genome Research Institute plans to expand its Encyclopedia of DNA Elements project and fund new research to further catalog functional elements in the human, mouse, flatworm, and fruit fly genomes.

Edison Liu is to be the new president and CEO of the Jackson Laboratory.

Researchers from the US, Sweden, and the UK reported the draft genome sequence of the North American green anole lizard in Nature.

A study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says that Yersinia pestis was the bacterial species behind the Black Death plague, but adds that the variant involved in the pandemic may have since disappeared.

The US Food and Drug Administration will be accepting public comments on its draft guidance, "Oversight of Clinical Investigations: A Risk-Based Approach to Monitoring," through late November, when the agency plans to begin finalizing it.

The National Human Genome Research Institute announced funding opportunities aimed at building genomics infrastructure, expertise, and support for research efforts based in Africa. The new grant programs, totaling $36.9 million over five years, are part of the Human Heredity and Health in Africa project, a collaboration between NHGRI, the African Society of Human Genetics, and the Wellcome Trust.

A new law passed in California provides protection from discrimination on the basis of genetic information. It goes beyond the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 by covering life insurance, housing, and employment.

Kevin McKernan founded Medicinal Genomics and is its CEO.

The Scan

Pfizer-BioNTech Seek Full Vaccine Approval

According to the New York Times, Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking full US Food and Drug Administration approval for their SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Viral Integration Study Critiqued

Science writes that a paper reporting that SARS-CoV-2 can occasionally integrate into the host genome is drawing criticism.

Giraffe Species Debate

The Scientist reports that a new analysis aiming to end the discussion of how many giraffe species there are has only continued it.

Science Papers Examine Factors Shaping SARS-CoV-2 Spread, Give Insight Into Bacterial Evolution

In Science this week: genomic analysis points to role of human behavior in SARS-CoV-2 spread, and more.