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A Year Ago: Dec 1, 2002

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Last December, GT’s cover story looked at why 2D gels are such a roadblock in proteomics, and what needed to be done to move the field along. A year later, 2D gel automation is still a holy grail for proteomics companies, though they may be getting closer: Millipore is collaborating with Applied Biosystems on one solution (see p. 23), NextGen Sciences recently unveiled a prototype of an automated 2D gel analysis system, and Proteome Systems introduced several new 2D gel-based tools to complement its ProteomIQ platform during the year. Our cover personality from that issue, Ruedi Aebersold, was in the meantime chosen by his peers as a 2002 GT All-Star for his work in proteomics.

We also ran a profile of Tim Hunkapiller, president of Discovery Biosciences and consultant to Applied Biosystems. Hunkapiller, brother of ABI president Michael, has been mentioned in a lawsuit from MJ Research charging that the ABI license to Caltech’s four-color sequencing patent is invalid because the patent itself wrongfully left out a key inventor, WashU’s Henry Huang. Hunkapiller, who contends that the patent is in fact perfectly valid, will likely be called to testify in the suit.

Our IT Guy Nat Goodman gave Santa a wish list last December with all the goodies bioinformaticists were hoping for. In this issue, he reports that Santa responded well to the open-source community over the past 12 months (see p. 44).

In other updates, a news article checked in on Indiana University’s undergraduate bioinformatics program. Since then, the university has continued its thrust in genomics, helping to form the Indiana Proteomics Consortium with Purdue University and Eli Lilly, headed up by John Hurrell. The university also invested in office space in Indianapolis to start a life sciences incubator, slated to open late this year. We also looked at Genomic Solutions spinout Proteomic Research Services; in recent months, Genomic Solutions was acquired by Harvard Bioscience. And we published a Q&A with Nobel laureate Lee Hartwell, the first of no doubt many Prizewinners who will have ties to genomics. This year’s winners have included Sydney Brenner, John Fenn, Robert Horvitz, John Sulston, Koichi Tanaka, and Kurt Wuthrich.

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