Threading the Needle
The technology to sequence a long strand of DNA by sending it through a 10-9-meter hole at a speed of 1 billion bases per second may only be two years away, according to Daniel Branton. He and colleagues have already designed solid-state nanopores big enough through which a DNA molecule can be threaded but small enough to send the bases by one at a time.
Find “Crafty Genomic Shoehorn May Yield Warp-Speed Whole Genome Sequencing” by searching: shoehorn
Must Be a Quick Study
Peter Chambre, Celera’s former COO, will become CEO of Cambridge Antibody Technology as it moves to biopharmaceuticals. Back in October, Chambre moved from Celera to Applera to help the former more quickly take up residence downstream. So why has he now agreed to do the job for CAT that Tony White desperately needs finished at Celera?
Find “Chambre, Celera’s Erstwhile COO, Tapped to Run CAT” by searching: Chambre
All Riled Up
Ousted Paradigm Genetics president and CEO John Ryals said he may “take legal action” against Paradigm’s board. “It’s a bad situation,” said Ryals. “I don’t agree with what took place. I may have avenues to pursue.” He characterized the move as “a plain sort of power play from a single board member. That’s my impression.”
Find “Ousted Paradigm Chief Says He May Sue Board” by searching: Paradigm
“If you get really [terrible] data you are not going to be able to fix it. You can’t normalize away garbage. You can only correct the data a little bit. My approach is always that normalization should be like camping: You want to disturb the natural environment as little as possible.”
— John Quackenbush, principal investigator, the Institute for Genomic Research
Find “Why Be Normal? TIGR’s Quackenbush Discusses Data Normalization” by searching: Quackenbush
Fear and Loathing in Startup City
Anyone could tell you this isn’t the ideal economic climate to go looking for venture capital funding. But for early-stage bioinformatics companies, it seems that the going is especially rough, as the general economic slowdown has only served to drive home a situation that some say was a long time in coming: Until bioinformatics companies prove they can make money, funding will remain hard to find.
Find “Bioinformatics Startups Hit with Cash Crunch as VCs Tighten the Purse Strings” by searching: crunch
The Geneva Contention
Even the appearance of GeneProt’s flagship facility in Geneva — a blue and silver metal building emblazoned with the GeneProt logo in 10-foot lettering — illustrates the company’s potential strengths and weaknesses. Having pumped $6 million into a redesign and what was at the time state-of-the-art equipment, GeneProt positioned itself to extract value from its differential proteomics experiments. But with the Geneva operation dedicated mainly to its one big pharma client — Basel-based Novartis — GeneProt needs additional partners to fuel its expansion into the US, and ultimately reach profitability.
Find “From its Geneva Base, GeneProt Sees Both Constraints and Road Map for Future Prosperity” by searching: GeneProt