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23andMe Expands Personal Genetics Service to Canada, Europe
 
Consumer genetics start-up 23andMe this week announced that it has begun making its services available to consumers in Canada and 49 European countries.
 
The company, which officially launched in the US in November, uses an Illumina manufactured genotyping array to help individuals understand their own genetic information through the latest advances in DNA analysis technologies and web-based interactive tools (see BAN 11/20/2007).
 
According to Linda Avey, the firm’s co-founder, 23andMe has received an “overwhelming interest” in its services since the November launch. She added that the firm plans to offer its services to additional locations in the future.
 
23andMe is now available to consumers in the following locations: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vatican City State.
 

 
Invitrogen Licenses IMBcom's Non-Coding RNAs
 
Invitrogen announced last week that it has licensed exclusive rights from Australian company IMBcom to commercialize new non-coding RNA molecules as they are developed.
 
Invitrogen said the agreement will expand its RNA product portfolio and its NCode microRNA microarray product line in particular.
 
Having access to non-coding RNAs will allow researchers to simultaneously investigate coding and non-coding sequences by microarray. Because non-coding RNAs are believed to influence many cellular processes, including stem cell development and cancer, understanding how these molecules interact with and influence mRNA expression will likely be an important area of research.
  
Researchers at the University of Queensland in Brisbane are using a proprietary algorithm to predict the new non-coding RNAs, which are subsequently validated experimentally. So far the algorithm has predicted tens of thousands of human and mouse sequences related to both coding and non-coding RNA.
 

 
DNAVision Obtains GLP Compliance, Adds Genotyping Services on Luminex Platform
 
Brussels-based DNAVision said this week that it has obtained GLP compliance certification from the Belgium Scientific Institute of Public Health.
 
The lab can now offer its assistance in pharmacogenomic and toxicogenomic studies on medicinal products with respect to the European Union’s principles of Good Laboratory Practices.
 
Separately, DNAVision said last week that it is now offering DNA genotyping services using the Luminex xMAP platform.
 
The firm said that the xMAP technology expands its current offerings and enables it to provide custom SNP genotyping for medium- to large-scale studies.
 
Financial details were not discussed.
 

 
Eisai Research to Use Genedata's Expressionist to Hunt Biomarkers
 
The Eisai Research Institute will use Genedata’s Expressionist software in its biomarker discovery programs, Genedata said last week.
 
The Expressionist platform integrates high-throughput data from transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics studies, and includes statistical analysis and interpretation functions.
 
Andover, Mass.-based ERI is a subsidiary of Japanese firm Eisai and is focused on several therapeutic programs, including studies of oncology, the central nervous system, and gastrointestinal diseases.
 
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.
 

 
Golden Helix to Collaborate with Academic Partners on CNA Program
 
Golden Helix last week said that it has signed up six academic centers as initial collaborators in a program to refine and advance copy number analysis methods.
 
The inaugural partners in the program include researchers from the University of California Los Angeles, the Zucker Hillside Hospital, Montreal Heart Institute, Emory Institute, Case Western Reserve University, and the University at Lubeck, Germany.
 
Golden Helix announced the opportunity for collaboration last month during a webcast and said that it has since received proposals from 20 institutions. The collaborations will cover a wide array of diseases and sample characteristics and include data generated from Illumina and Affymetrix genotyping platforms, the Bozeman, Mont.-based company said.
 
The collaboration will combine Golden Helix’s informatics expertise with its collaborators’ “in-depth knowledge about the biology of their diseases under study,” Golden Helix President and CEO Christophe Lambert said in a statement.

The Scan

Driving Malaria-Carrying Mosquitoes Down

Researchers from the UK and Italy have tested a gene drive for mosquitoes to limit the spread of malaria, NPR reports.

Office Space to Lab Space

The New York Times writes that some empty office spaces are transforming into lab spaces.

Prion Pause to Investigate

Science reports that a moratorium on prion research has been imposed at French public research institutions.

Genome Research Papers on Gut Microbe Antibiotic Response, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Clues to Metabolism, More

In Genome Research this week: gut microbial response to antibiotic treatment, approach to gauge metabolic features from single-cell RNA sequencing, and more.