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In Silico: Aug 1, 2001

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Sun Also Rises

Myriad Genetics has chosen Sun Microsystems to provide the computing infrastructure for its protein mapping venture with Hitachi and Oracle. Myriad had recently narrowed the field by eliminating IBM. Both Compaq and Sun offered significantly discounted bids, but Sun’s estimated $3 million price tag dramatically undercut Compaq’s bid.

Find “Myriad Genetics Chooses Sun to Provide Computing Power for Protein Mapping Venture” by searching: Myriad

Attack of the Hap Map

Francis Collins said that a haplotype map could be the next undertaking of NHGRI. Early-stage planning is underway for a public-private collaboration to build a database identifying “blocks” of base pairs containing variants linked to disease. Craig Venter said that Celera would not participate in such a consortium but would soon announce a haplotype project of its own.

Find “Collins and Venter Hint at Haplotype Mapping Initiatives” by searching: haplotype

 

Hanash 4 Prez

The Human Proteome Organization has elected Sam Hanash, a cancer researcher at the University of Michigan Medical School, as its first president. He plans to establish working groups within HUPO to tackle specific issues such as incorporating the organization and establishing guidelines for future activities.

Find “HUPO Appoints Samir Hanash as First President” by searching: Hanash

Closing Its Doors

Out of cash, Genometrix ceased operations as of June 25. The company is currently seeking additional capital, but CFO David Jorden estimated that the company would need approximately $10 million to remain solvent for about two-and-a-half years.

Find "Genometrix Ceases Operations, Holds onto Hope of Restarting" by searching: Genometrix

Hail to the Academic

In a move many scientists felt has been too late in coming, President Bush announced that he would nominate physicist John Marburger as the next director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Marburger’s strong credentials in both research and education should allay some concerns that Bush has been slighting academic scientists in his appointments.

Find “Bush Nominates Brookhaven Director to Head Office of Science and Technology Policy” by searching: Brookhaven

Free Comes First

“Publicly available software [is] the only way to get your hands on the latest methods, because it takes awhile for even the best commercial vendors to implement new ideas in their software packages.” — Cynthia Gibas

Find “Talking Heads: Cynthia Gibas” by searching: Gibas

Patent Shortage?

While some areas of the biotech landscape are embroiled in perpetual patent litigation, this is not the case in bioinformatics for a very simple reason: a dearth of patents. A recent study found that only 50 software-related patents have been issued by the US PTO since 1996 to companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and genomics sectors.

Find “Bioinformatics Patents Remain an Anomalous Rarity in IP-Heavy Biopharmaceutical Industry” by searching: patents

 

Beyond Full-Serve

“For the last three or four years, we have been a microarray service business. Now we recognize the value of actually making the microarray.”

— Chris Hopkins, microarray senior scientist, Incyte

Find “Incyte Vies for Slice of High-Density Array Pie with New LifeArray Offerings” by searching: Incyte

 

No PCR, No Problem

Qiagen and Novartis spinoff Zeptosens are making their planar wave guide high-sensitivity microarray platform available through early-access agreements. The technology is a method for selectively detecting molecules bound to the surface of the microarray without the use of PCR.

Find “Aventis Pharma and Qiagen Sign Early Access Deal for Planar Wave Guide Microarray Platform” by searching: Qiagen

The Scan

Fertility Fraud Found

Consumer genetic testing has uncovered cases of fertility fraud that are leading to lawsuits, according to USA Today.

Ties Between Vigorous Exercise, ALS in Genetically At-Risk People

Regular strenuous exercise could contribute to motor neuron disease development among those already at genetic risk, Sky News reports.

Test Warning

The Guardian writes that the US regulators have warned against using a rapid COVID-19 test that is a key part of mass testing in the UK.

Science Papers Examine Feedback Mechanism Affecting Xist, Continuous Health Monitoring for Precision Medicine

In Science this week: analysis of cis confinement of the X-inactive specific transcript, and more.