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Swedish BIO-X Funds Single-Molecule DNA Analysis System Development

NEW YORK, June 22 (GenomeWeb News) - Uppsala BIO-X, a Swedish government-funded effort to stimulate development of tools for life sciences, has awarded its first project grant for development of a high-throughput DNA analysis platform, the organization said today.


This project is a collaboration between Mats Nillson and Ulf Landegren at the center for development of molecular tools at the Rudbeck laboratory of Uppsala University, and Janet Jansson from the Swedish Laboratory for Agricultural Sciences. The team is developing tools capable of analyzing single cells and single molecules quickly and accurately. Potential applications include single-cell analysis of cancer cells, and improved characterization of microbial communities, BIO-X said.


While BIO-X did not reveal the specific amount awarded, the typical grant under this project is between 4 and 5 million SEK ($530,000 to $660,000) per year, with the duration of the project being two to four years, according to Bjorn Ekstrom, coordinator of Uppsala BIO-X.


The BIO-X project, funded with 10 million SEK per year for the next ten years, is looking to fund research projects with relevance to the life sciences industry, Ekstrom said. The project also has just announced a second call for proposals, for a life sciences tools project of the same magnitude as the one just funded, according to Ekstrom. The deadline for this project will be October 1st.


The BIO-X project aims to provide an alternative to the ordinary structure of scientific grants, and act "as a bridge bet academic research and industry," said Ekstrom. 


It will not limit itself to funding of local scientists, but can also provide funding for internationally recognized scientists whose technologies can be used by local life sciences companies such as Amersham (now part of GE healthcare), Biacore, and Pharmacia Diagnostics.


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