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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

UK Team Presents Genetic, Epigenetic Sequencing Method

Using enzymatic DNA preparation steps, researchers in Nature Biotechnology develop a strategy for sequencing DNA, along with 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, on existing sequencers.

DNA Biobank Developed for French Kidney Donors, Recipients

The KiT-GENIE biobank described in the European Journal of Human Genetics contains DNA samples, genotyping profiles, immune patterns, and clinical features for thousands of kidney donors or transplant recipients in Nantes, France.

Cardiometabolic Disease May Have Distinct Associations With Microbial Metabolites in Blood, Gut

By analyzing gut microbes in combination with related metabolites in feces and blood, researchers in Nature Communications found distinct cardiometabolic disease relationships at each site.

Study Reveals New Details About Genetics of Major Cause of Female Infertility

Researchers in Nature Medicine conducted a whole-exome sequencing study of mote than a thousand patients with premature ovarian insufficiency.