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Where Are They Now?: Nov 1, 2003


A year ago, Genome Technology’s November issue looked at Whitehead’s genome center and its strategies for staying ahead of the informatics curve. The challenges continue to pile up for the center, especially now that it will be rolled into the newly formed $100 million Broad Institute, led by Eric Lander. In the year since GT’s article, the genome center has hit more milestones: it released a new version of the Arachne assembly software, launched a fungal genome program, started sequencing the dog, and assembled draft sequences of mouse, Neurospora crassa, and Aspergillus nidulans.

Another news item in 2002 was the unveiling of 454’s then-mystery technology at the Genome Sequencing and Analysis Conference. The sequencing technology, still vying for a position in that elusive $1,000 genome terrain, continues to stir up interest. GT looked at that technology, as well as 13 others, in its sequencing roundup this July. Speaking of GSAC, a year ago GT’s pages showed off scenes from the conference — check out p. 50 in this edition for shots from this year’s meeting in Savannah, Ga.

Since this is a double issue, “Where are they now?” wouldn’t be complete without a look back at December as well. The 2002 cover story that month asked a question that people in the field and investors would be asking throughout 2003: “Can proteomics companies stay afloat?” So far, the answer has been yes — with careful planning and budgeting. All of the companies GT looked at last year — Affinium, Caprion, Cellzome, GeneProt, Large Scale Biology, MDS Proteomics, Syn X Pharma — remain in business.


The Scan

US Supports Patent Waivers

NPR reports that the Biden Administration has announced its support for waiving intellectual property protections for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Vaccines Versus Variants

Two studies find the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine to be effective against viral variants, and Moderna reports on booster shots to combat variants.

CRISPR for What Ails You

The Wall Street Journal writes that CRISPR-based therapies could someday be used to treat common conditions like heart attacks.

Nature Papers Review Integration of Single-Cell Assay Data, Present Approach to Detect Rare Variants

In Nature this week: review of ways to integrate data from single-cell assays, and more.