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Where are they now?: Feb 1, 2003


GT’s cover story last February delved into the history of the bioinformatics industry in an attempt to find a success story somewhere in the drooping sector. The bioinformatics market has continued to perform below expectations. Of the companies mentioned in the article, several have seen changes in past months. NetGenics was acquired for a paltry $17 million by Lion Bioscience. Invitrogen snapped up InforMax for a more respectable $42 million. And the much-eulogized DoubleTwist finally succumbed, closing its doors just a month after the February issue was released.

Meantime, Michael Stapleton, quoted in the article from his perch as COO of Accelrys, has since left the company. He was replaced by Mark Emkjer, who signed on as president (see p. 14).

Another article in the February ’02 issue looked at the rapid sequencing technology boasted by Mobious Genomics, which founder Dan Densham said would soon be out of the shadows to silence rumors that his company was based only on hype. But when he didn’t appear on a panel on “the $1,000 genome” at the Genome Sequencing and Analysis Conference last October, it was clear that Densham’s technology was still under wraps.

Illumina’s bead-based genotyping platform was another emerging technology. In the year since, the company has been stymied on the release of its platform thanks to delays from collaborator Applied Biosystems, which was to develop the assays for it, so Illumina went ahead and released the platform with its own assays. Consequently, ABI is suing Illumina for breach of contract.

IT Guy Nat Goodman wished the human genome a happy birthday last year and gave the kid a one-year checkup. Nat’s back this month with two candles on the birthday cake, once again checking in to see how it’s growing — and how it’s handling the new sibling in the household, the mouse genome.


The Scan

WHO Seeks Booster Pause

According to CNN, the World Health Organization is calling for a moratorium on administering SARS-CoV-2 vaccine boosters until more of the world has received initial doses.

For Those Long Legs

With its genome sequence and subsequent RNAi analyses, researchers have examined the genes that give long legs to daddy longlegs, New Scientist says.

September Plans

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration is aiming for early September for full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on Targeting DNA Damage Response, TSMiner, VarSAn

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: genetic changes affecting DNA damage response inhibitor response, "time-series miner" approach, and more.