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Michael Cohen, Ren Bernards, Claire Fraser

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Michael Cohen has become the new chief scientific officer of Toronto-based MetriGenix, following the company's acquisition of GeneXP Biosciences , the company said last week. He is the former president of GeneXP.


René Bernards, chief scientific officer of Agendia, has won the Spinoza prize from the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research, Agendia said last week. He also heads the division of molecular carcinogenesis at the Netherlands Cancer Institute.


Claire Fraser has won the 2005 Promega Biotechnology Research Award, the Institute for Genomic Research said last week. She is the president and director, as well as a co-founder, of Rockville, Md.-based TIGR. Fraser, who received the award at the general meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Atlanta, is honored for her "outstanding contributions and research to the application of biotechnology through fundamental microbiological research and development." She holds a PhD in pharmacology from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a BS in biology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.

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.