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Charles Ma, George Jokhadze, Christopher Yoo, Merrilyn Datta, Nikki Zahl, Tina Nova

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Charles Ma has become chief scientist of Phalanx Biotech Group, and George Jokhadze director of operations of PhalanxBio, the group’s US subsidiary, the Taiwan-based microarray company said last month. Jokhadze was previously a senior research scientist and group leader at BD Clontech, where he co-developed microarrays. He holds a PhD in molecular biology from the Academy of Sciences in Russia. Ma has been an associate research scientist at Columbia University since 1995. He holds a PhD in molecular biology from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Christopher Yoo has joined Applied Biosystems as worldwide director of marketing for ABI’s molecular biology division, the company said last month. Yoo was previously head of strategy for IBM’s Information Based Medicine business unit.


Invitrogen has appointed Merrilyn Datta as the company’s new director of RNAi in the functional genomics business segment. Datta replaces Nikki Zahl, who has become director of genomics at Invitrogen. Datta will be in charge of all of Invitrogen’s initiatives related to RNAi. She was previously marketing manager for RNAi at the company, and before that marketing manager for cloning and gene expression. Datta holds a PhD from Harvard University, and a BS from Emory University.


Tina Nova has joined the board of directors of Heska, a veterinary diagnostic products manufacturer. Nova is president, CEO, director and co-founder of Genoptix. She served as president and COO of Nanogen from 1994 to 2000.

The Scan

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.