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Intel Science Talent Search, Boston University Medical Center, Johns Hopkins, Cambridge Antibody Technology, Oxford Glycosciences, Qgenics

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4 High School Microarray Scholars Cited in Intel Science Search

Four high school students submitted microarray-based research reports to earn semifinal honors and $1,000 each in the prestigious annual Intel Science Talent Search.

Three of the students were from New York schools and one was from Frederick, Md. All national semifinalists get $1,000 from Intel, and their schools receive equal amounts for science and research programs. From 300 semifinalists, 40 finalists nationwide were to be announced on Jan. 29.

The young microarray researchers honored were:

Jessica Ruth Gross, 17, of Paul D. Schreiber High School, Port Washington, NY. Her experiment was: The Use of Microarray Technology and RT-PCR to Determine the Effects of Echinacea on Gene Expression in Human Lymphocytes.

Kevin Shenderov, 15, of Edward R. Murrow High School, Brooklyn, NY, whose experiment was: Identification of Cancer Testes Antigens Through Microarray Analysis Using a Bioinformatics Approach.

Jared Daniel Friedman, 17, of Horace Mann School, Bronx, NY, whose experiment was: Improved Statistical Test for Multiple-condition Microarray Data Integrating ANOVA with Clustering.

Jennifer Pei-Kay Gee, 17, of Frederick High School, Frederick, Md., whose experiment was: Identification of Genes Regulating Differentiation in Leukemic Cells Induced by Retinoic Acid: A Microarray Data Analysis.

The annual talent search, which Intel describes as junior Nobel Prizes, drew 1,581 applicants nationwide. New York City’s Stuyvesant High School had a country-leading 19 semifinalists.

 

BU Med Center to Use Microarrays in Lung Cancer Screen

Boston University Medical Center said last week that it is initiating a gene expression study for the early detection, prognosis, therapy selection, and monitoring of lung cancer.

This is a harbinger of industry hopes of making microarrays available in the diagnostic arena.

The study, conducted in collaboration with Affymetrix, will test a novel sample acquisition method developed by Jerome Brody, director of BUMC’s pulmonary center, and Avrum Spira, a pulmonary fellow. The method involves collecting samples less-invasively by a brushing or scraping of the pulmonary airways, instead of present methods that require removal of tissue from inside the lung.

The study will seek to identify predictive molecular signatures that enable screening and early detection of lung cancer in “at risk” individuals. The test follows an early study that demonstrated proof-of-concept for the sample acquisition method.

 

Johns Hopkins Researcher to Use Microarrays in Poultry Bacteria Study

Ellen Silbergeld, a professor of environmental health sciences at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a MacArthur “genius” grant winner, is expanding a study of antibiotic-resistant bacteria to include workers in the poultry industry of rural Maryland. The study will include the development of a microarray, based on genetic information from the bacteria Campylobacter jejuni, that will be used for analysis. She is recruiting poultry workers and people who live near poultry farmers in Pocomoke City and Georgetown, Md., according to articles published in the Daily Times of Salisbury, Md. Silbergeld told BioArray News that the study is in very prelimary stages, too early for comment.

 

Cambridge Antibody Continues to Seek Support for Microarrays

In the aftermath of last week’s merger announcement between Cambridge Antibody Technology and Oxford Glycosciences, Kevin Johnson, chief technology officer and a member of the CAT board of directors, will leave the board but will continue to lead the efforts to secure independent financing for CAT’s antibody array business, CAT said in an announcement.

 

$1 Million Seed Funding for Molecular Comb

Qgenics of Knoxville, Tenn., last week landed $1 million in seed funding from MB Venture Partners of Memphis. The company is based on molecular comb technology licensed from Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The microfluidics technology is designed to move, separate, and analyze molecules such as DNA and proteins.

The Scan

Dropped Charges

The US Justice Department has dropped visa fraud charges against five Chinese researchers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More Kids

The Associated Press says Moderna is expanding its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine study to included additional children and may include even younger children.

PNAS Papers on Rat Clues to Human Migration, Thyroid Cancer, PolyG-DS

In PNAS this week: ancient rat genome analysis gives hints to human migrations, WDR77 gene mutations in thyroid cancer, and more.

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.