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Nanosphere, Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community of Arizona, Arizona State University, Asterand, Rubicon, Innogenetics, Syngenta


Nanosphere Sees Validity in Colorimetric Detection

Nanosphere said this week that it has developed a colorimetric detection capability for its nanoparticle-based molecular detection systems for the identification of genomic DNA, RNA, and protein targets without the need for traditional signal or target amplification.

The Northbrook, Ill.-based company’s findings will be published in the July 2004 issue of the journal Nature Biotechnology.

Nanosphere researchers evaluated the addition of colorimetric detection to its ClearRead technology in the identification of the mecA gene, a biomarker widely associated with clinically challenging methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Among results, researchers observed a green-to-orange color change that detected the presence of the targeted mecA sequence from clinical samples of MRSA. Further, the colorimetric assay enabled testing to be performed without using amplification procedures.

Salt River Pima Maricopa Tribe to Build Wet-Lab Space for Biotech

The Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community of Arizona last week announced that it would develop a biomedical facility that may eventually grow as large as 390,000 square feet, providing wet lab space for the burgeoning biotech industry in the Phoenix area.

The tribe last week said it would begin a 60,000 square foot initial phase of construction next year on a project that would be 50 percent devoted to laboratory space.

The Salt River Pima tribe, which operates two casinos in the Phoenix area, is a partner with Phoenix’s Translational Genomics Institute, contributing $5 million over five years for disease research.

Arizona State University Lines up Purchase of Mall Land for Innovation Center

Arizona State University last week announced a deal that would allow the university to purchase a 42-acre parcel of land that formerly held a shopping mall to create a center for innovation and technology.

According to news reports, the ASU Foundation would buy the 42-acre Los Arcos site from developer Steve Ellman for $41.5 million. The city of Scottsdale would then buy the site from the foundation for the same price and lease most of it to the university.

The ASU-Scottsdale Center for New Technology & Innovation would have a $300 million development tab and would eventually create from 900,000 and 1.2 million square feet of research lab and office space over a period of six to 10 years.

Asterand to use Rubicon’s Whole-Genome Amplification Tech for Diabetes Research

Tissue-banking firm Asterand will use DNA amplification technology developed by Rubicon Genomics as part of a collaborative diabetes study, Asterand said last week.

Asterand said it will use Rubicon’s GenomePlex whole-genome amplification technology to obtain DNA samples from relatives of diabetes patients in a collaborative study that involves researchers from Wayne State University and elsewhere.

The trial will collect blood samples from people suffering from diabetes, but other family members “may prefer a simple mouthwash, and by using this new amplification technology we can get the information we need,” said Asterand CSO James Eliason.

Innogenetics and PamGene partner on Diagnostic Microarray Platform

Innogenetics of Ghent, Belgium, and PamGene of Den Bosch, the Netherlands, last week announced a collaboration to develop nucleic-acid and protein-based tests using PamGene’s microarray technology platform.

Innogenetics has taken an exclusive license to PamGene’s PamStation 12 instrument for application in infectious diseases, genetic testing, and neurodegeneration with an optional extension for applications in the field of oncology. The agreement includes an up-front payment, staged development milestone fees as new tests reach the market, and royalties on sales. Additional financial details were not disclosed.

Syngenta Donates Arabidopsis Seed Lines and Deposits Sequence Info into GenBank

Syngenta has donated 48,000 seed lines in its Arabidopsis functional genomics seed collection to the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center hosted at Ohio State University, the company said last week.

The ARBC and the Nottingham Arabidopsis Stock Centre in Nottingham, UK, will jointly distribute the seed lines to researchers.

The company is also depositing the sequence information from these seed lines into GenBank.


The Scan

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.

Team Presents Cattle Genotype-Tissue Expression Atlas

Using RNA sequences representing thousands of cattle samples, researchers looked at relationships between cattle genotype and tissue expression in Nature Genetics.

Researchers Map Recombination in Khoe-San Population

With whole-genome sequences for dozens of individuals from the Nama population, researchers saw in Genome Biology fine-scale recombination patterns that clustered outside of other populations.

Myotonic Dystrophy Repeat Detected in Family Genome Sequencing Analysis

While sequencing individuals from a multi-generation family, researchers identified a myotonic dystrophy type 2-related short tandem repeat in the European Journal of Human Genetics.