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In Silico: Feb 1, 2003

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What’s That Smell?

“In Silicon Valley, about eight o’clock on, there is nothing except the coyotes … and the skunks.”

— San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, on why biotech companies should set up shop in his city instead of the valley

Find “San Fran Mayor Willie Brown to Biotech: Choose Town, Not Country” by searching: Willie


Beefed Up

For bioinformatics researchers at post-acquisition Hewlett-Packard Labs, bigger appears to be better. Though it’s still in the early days in the merging of cultures and businesses, bioinformaticists at HP’s headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., are already feeling the impact.

Find “Bioinformatics Blooms (Relatively Speaking) at Post-Acquisition HP Labs” by searching: HP Labs


Mighty Mice

A freezer full of mouse sperm might not seem like the strongest foundation on which to build a new company. But Etiologics, a new spinoff from the mammalian genetics lab of the UK’s Medical Research Council, expects it will make an irresistible partner for pharmaceutical companies.

Find “An Army of 5,000 Mutant Mice Helps MRC Spinoff Etiologics Take Drug Research by Storm” by searching: Etiologics Weekly

Modesty, Thy Name Is…

“There is no point spending six months fashioning three fantastic antibodies, you have to have 300 assays in that time. You have to deliver the scale that the market wants. If there is anybody who can make that content, it is us.”

— Kevin Johnson, CTO, Cambridge Antibody Technology, on the company’s effort to spin out an array company

Find “Cambridge Antibody Tech to Spin Out Protein Array Company: Seeks Independent Financing” Weekly

Tool Time

The publication of the mouse genome sequence offered few surprises for the genomics community. But buried within the densely packed 45-page paper, a new family of bioinformatics

Find “Mouse/Human Genome Analysis Gains from New Crop of Gene Prediction Tools” by searching: mouse/human Weekly

It’s Not (Quite) Brain Surgery

What happens when 80 scientists and NIH officers put their heads together to figure out how to use proteomics technologies to understand the brain? They don’t agree on much, but they highlight the diversity of approaches it takes to study such a complex system.

Find “Researchers Gather to Brainstorm on Possible NIH Neuroproteomics Projects” by searching: neuroproteomics


The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.