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BioArray Briefs: Jan 6, 2009

Bayer Schering Pharma Renews License for GeneGo's MetaCore
Bayer Schering Pharma has renewed its licenses for GeneGo’s MetaCore software and databases, GeneGo said this week.
St. Joseph, Mich.-based GeneGo said that Bayer Schering Pharma has agreed to another 3-year license for the software, which is designed for use in target selection and validation, data mining, and for identifying biomarkers for disease states and toxicology. Bayer Schering Pharma is using the software in its oncology, cardiology, and women’s health programs, Julie Bryant, GeneGo’s vice president of business development, said in a statement.
GeneGo also said it is currently developing disease-specific platforms for cancer and cardiovascular studies that “blueprint pathway maps for the disease, processes and mechanisms as well as offering public domain experimental data and disease ontologies.”
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

DNAVision Expands Facilities with Plans for Adding Next-Gen Sequencing and Other New Services
Belgian applied genetics and genomics services firm DNAVision said this week that it has doubled its laboratories and office space in Charleroi-Gosselies, adding five new laboratory areas dedicated to cell culture and nucleic acid extraction.
The move is aimed at augmenting the company’s RNA- and DNA-based analytical techniques, expanding its biopharmaceutical services portfolio, and providing new GMP-certified assays.
DNAVision said that its DNAVision AgriFood subsidiary, a spin-off of the University of Liège, will move to a new facility at the end of this month. Along with biosafety level 3 laboratory services, DNAVision said it will also provide a range of new services including next-generation sequencing, though it did not provide details on the sequencing platform it plans to use.
DNAVision, a spin-out of the University of Brussels, has experience providing nucleic acid extraction and purification services. Most of these extraction services are accredited by the Belgian accreditation body BELAC.

Ocimum Becomes an Authorized Service Provider for NuGen in India
Hyderabad-based Ocimum Biosolutions this week said it has become an authorized provider for services using NuGen Ovation Systems for sample preparation in India.
NuGen’s family of Ovation RNA amplification and labeling products enable life scientists to conduct gene expression profiling with a broad range of sample types such as formalin-fixed, paraffin embedded tissues, whole blood, tissue biopsies, laser-captured micro-dissected cells, and sorted cells, Ocimum said.
Ocimum CEO Anu Acharya in a statement called the partnership an “important step towards becoming a truly integrated, world-class genomic service provider” for Ocimum.
As an authorized service provider, Ocimum will receive specialized training from NuGen's technical team. Ocimum and NuGen also will work together to develop additional customer resources, such as online seminars and technology updates, the company said.
Financial details were not discussed.

The Scan

Wolf Howl Responses Offer Look at Vocal Behavior-Related Selection in Dogs

In dozens of domestic dogs listening to wolf vocalizations, researchers in Communication Biology see responses varying with age, sex, reproductive status, and a breed's evolutionary distance from wolves.

Facial Imaging-Based Genetic Diagnoses Appears to Get Boost With Three-Dimensional Approach

With data for more than 1,900 individuals affected by a range of genetic conditions, researchers compared facial phenotype-based diagnoses informed by 2D or 3D images in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Survey Suggests Multigene Cancer Panel VUS Reporting May Vary Across Genetic Counselors

Investigators surveyed dozens of genetic counselors working in clinical or laboratory settings, uncovering attitudes around VUS reporting after multigene cancer panel testing in the Journal of Genetic Counseling.

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.