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US Air Force Extends CombiMatrix Contract to Develop Flu Assays

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – CombiMatrix today said that the US Air Force has extended a contract to continue developing an Influenza Genotyping system.
Under the $890,000 deal, CBMX will develop a field-deployable system designed to identify all influenza strains, including H5N1 avian flu, and other respiratory pathogens.
The original program started in 2005 when the USAF’s Institute of Occupational Health paid CBMX $340,000 for a one-year deal to begin developing an array to identify the infections.
Last year’s agreement enabled the company to retain the right to sell the resulting assays to other customers.
CBMX CEO Amit Kumar said it is important to be able to track mutations in bird flu, and added that CBMX’s system can “determine when any other strain of influenza A is gaining an upper hand in a population, and can identify other infectious diseases that cause flu-like symptoms.
The company said the first effort will be to update the array with new information from influenza A sequencing that is related to human disease.

The Scan

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.