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BioArray Briefs: 2009.03.03

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Febit to Offer HybSelect Application in READNA Consortium

Febit said this week that it will make its HybSelect target enrichment application for use by researchers involved in the EU-funded READNA Consortium.

The consortium includes 16 European partners from industry and academia focused on developing revolutionary approaches and devices for nucleic acid analysis. The €12-million ($15 million) project specifically aims to develop new technologies for DNA sequencing. The ultimate goal is to "progress technologies that enable the sequencing of an entire human genome for €1,000 in less than one day," according to its website.

Other companies involved include Oxford Nanopore, Applied Biosystems, Olink, Photonis, and Philips Research.

For its part, Ivo Gut, project coordinator and associate director of the Centre National de Génotypage in Paris will use Febit's HybSelect technology for selected applications in second-generation sequencing.


USDA Grants $11M for Livestock Genomics

Universities and research centers in 15 states will receive a total of $11 million from the US Department of Agriculture for livestock genomics research projects and the development of technologies under a Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service program.

USDA said this week that the money will support research, education, and outreach in animal genomics that will protect livestock and make the food supply safer. These studies will generate knowledge that will "reduce the number and severity of animal disease outbreaks and decrease dependence on the widespread use of antibiotics," USDA said in a statement.

The funding has been awarded under the CSREES' National Research Initiative Animal Genome Program.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement that in order to "remain globally competitive in the livestock business and to continue to produce safe, nutritious products from livestock requires the application of cutting-edge genetics and breeding programs. Investing in good basic and applied research will help pinpoint genetic differences that result in superior animal products of the best quality for the consumer."

Some of the funds will be used to train new researchers by supporting 25 post-doctoral fellows and 15 graduate students.

The complete list of recipients and the amount of funding they are receiving includes: Auburn University, $725,000; University of California, Davis, $550,000; University of California, Davis, $10,000; University of Southern California, $711,884; University of Delaware, $125,000; University of Georgia, $449,575; Iowa State University, $10,000; Iowa State University, $909,439; Iowa State University, $749,345; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, $449,421; USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS)/Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Md., $625,000; University of Maryland, $906,098; USDA, ARS/Avian Disease and Oncology Laboratory (ADOL), Mich., $875,000; USDA, ARS/ADOL, $448,552; University of Minnesota, $549,999; University of Minnesota, $447,633; University of Missouri, $125,000; Texas A&M University, $313,516; Texas A&M University, $125,000; Utah State University, $629,471; Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, $585,613; Washington State University, $450,000; University of Wisconsin, Madison, $10,000; and University of Wisconsin, Madison, $401,651.


Autogenomics Pays $11.8M to Lease New Facility

Autogenomics has signed an $11.8 million industrial lease at Oak Ridge Corporate Centre in Vista, Calif., according to a news report.

The San Diego Daily Transcript reported that Autogenomics will occupy the 126,715-square-foot facility at 2980 Scott St. for nine years. Autogenomics currently occupies a 33,424-square-foot space in Carlsbad.


Oxford Gene Tech Collaborating with Optra

Oxford Gene Technology is collaborating with healthcare and life sciences IT company Optra Systems to develop new visualization and analysis software, OGT said last week.

The joint project is now in a testing phase, and the companies already have developed an initial software platform for use in visualizing and analyzing biomedical data from high resolution scanners.

OGT R&D Director John Anson said in a statement that the firm is "evaluating outsourcing opportunities for a further pilot project to develop a more powerful version of the software," and plans to continue its collaborations with Pune, India-based Optra Systems.


Gene Logic, Genstruct Partner on Toxicology Screening

Gene Logic and Genstruct will partner in an effort to market screening technologies that their pharmaceutical clients could use to test the potential toxicity of various compounds, the firms said last week in a joint statement.

Under the collaboration, Gene Logic, an Ocimum Biosolutions company, will offer its toxicology databases and data on specific compounds for preclinical and clinical research to pharmaceutical, biotechnology, consumer products and other industries, the company said. Genstruct will apply its Causal Network Modeling platform to create network models that capture toxicity potential of compounds.

The companies also will conduct co-marketing initiatives for each others' products. They also said that they intend to collaborate on personalized oncology therapy.

Genstruct President and CEO Keith Elliston, who formerly served as CSO of Gene Logic, said in a statement that the partners plan to generate gene expression data from patient tumors, which will be analyzed using Genstruct's systems biology platform. The information derived from the analysis could be used by physicians to devise optimal therapy for each patient, he said.


Global Biomarker Conference to be held in Vancouver this Month

The Global Biomarker Conference, also known as the World Microarray Congress, will be held in Vancouver, Canada, on March 19 and 20, according to organizer Nathan Yoganathan.

Yoganathan told BioArray News last week that the conference will discuss future applications of DNA and protein microarrays, qPCR, sequencing, and mass spectrometry technology.

Seminar topics include biomarker discovery, molecular diagnostics, antibody arrays, oligonucleotide arrays, tumor classification, proteomic technologies, target screening and validation, data analysis, future directions of genomic research, applications for drug discovery, and microarray technology in medicine, he said.

More information is available here.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.