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Lark Technologies, Accelr8 Technology, Epigenomics, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, National Science Foundation, Epoch Biosciences, Agilent Technologies, Stanford University


Lark Technologies Inc. Announces Trading Symbol Change

Houston-based Lark Technologies, a microarray services provider which trades over the counter on the Nasdaq exchange, has changed its trading symbol to LRKT from LDNA as a result of the company’s reverse/forward split.

Accelr8 Technology Corporation to Trade on Amex

Denber-based Accelr8 Technology announced last week that it will begin trading its shares on the American Stock Exchange under the symbol AXK.

Accelr8 sells microarray slides and microtiter plates coated with its OptiChem activated surface chemistry.

Epigenomics, Sanger Institute Launch First Phase of Human Epigenome Project

Epigenomics and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute announced this week the start of the first phase of the Human Epigenome Project (HEP) — an effort to map all the sites in the human genome where cytosine bases are modified by DNA methylation. The announcement follows the completion of an HEP pilot project that studied methylation patterns within the Major Histocompatibility Complex in chromosome 6 to determine the methylation status of over 100,000 sites. Data from the pilot study, which was funded by the European Union, was released today on the HEP’s website. Commercial and academic partners will supply tissue samples for the project. Epigenomics will prepare the tissue samples with its high-throughput methylation analysis technology before they undergo sequencing by the Sanger Institute.

National Science Foundation Announces 31 Grants for Plant Genome Research

The National Science Foundation announced late last week that it has provided 31 new grants worth a total of $100 million to support plant genome research. According to NSF, the two-to-four year grants, worth between $600,000 to almost $11 million, were provided to universities and institutions across the nation, including Indiana University, Florida State University, Rutgers University, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Yale University, and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Among the projects being funded by the grants, said NSF, are six new plant genome “virtual centers,” collaborations of various investigators to focus on a particular research goal. One, for example, will develop a scientific-community resource for studying genome-wide gene expression in corn, said NSF. A complete list of the grant recipients, as well as abstracts detailing their work, can be found on the NSF website.

Epoch Terminates MGB Eclipse Probe Distribution Deal with Amersham

Epoch Biosciences said last week that it has terminated an arrangement under which its MGB Eclipse genetic analysis probe systems was distributed by Amersham Biosciences.

According to Epoch, it ended the deal because Amersham failured to meet contractually established sales goals for the system. In August, the company disclosed that it anticipated revenues from Amersham would be insignificant for the rest of the year and that its projected revenues for the full-year 2003 would be between $8.5 million and $9.5 million.

Agilent and Stanford’s Reynolds Center Collaborate on Heart Disease Research

Agilent Technologies announced last week a collaboration with Stanford University’s Donald W. Reynolds Cardiovascular Clinical Research Center to study the basic mechanisms of heart disease.

Under the arrangement, the partners will use Agilent’s gene expression and computational technologies to identify, characterize, and validate potential diagnostic and drug targets that could help prevent, diagnose, and treat heart disease.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.