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NuGen Technologies, University of Rochester, Aventis, Sanofi-Syn, Zeptosens, GlaxoSmithKline, American Association for the Advancement of Science

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U of Rochester Functional Genomics Center In Agreement on NuGen Amplification System

NuGen Technologies of San Carlos, Calif., last week announced that the University of Rochester has adopted its Ovation system as its standard RNA amplification and labeling system in the of the Medical Center Functional Genomics Center.

The lab validated the company’s technology in its the microarray core facility. Users supply RNA from experimental tissue, and the core performs all molecular biological sample preparation including nucleic acid amplification, sample archiving, microarray hybridization and development, and gene expression validation studies, including Q-PCR.

This agreement is part of an ongoing broad collaboration between NuGen and the University of Rochester, which has validated Ovation as the method of choice across multiple tissue types and analysis platforms including spotted arrays, Affymetrix GeneChips, Applied Biosystems Micro Fluidic Cards, and real-time Q-PCR, the company said.


Aventis Accepts $65.3 Billion Sanofi Takeover Bid; Deal Creates Third Biggest Pharma

After having previously put up heavy resistance to a hostile takeover bid by French drug maker Sanofi-Synthelabo, Aventis said this week that it is recommending its shareholders accept the deal in light of improved terms.

In January, Sanofi offered roughly $60 billion to buy Aventis, which rejected the deal as offering “inferior value” to shareholders. This week, however, Aventis said that it has accepted a sweetened offer worth about $65.3 billion from Sanofi.

If accepted by Aventis’ shareholders, the merger will create the world’s third largest drugs firm behind Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, respectively. Aventis generated about $20 billion in net sales last year, while spending roughly $3.4 billion on research and development; Sanofi had sales of about $9.5 billion in 2003, and spent $1.5 billion on R&D.

The two companies also have numerous arrangements with genomics, informatics, and microarray firms, including Ardais, Affymetrix, Ingenuity, Serenex, and Pharsight.


Zeptosens Designs Protein Arrays for GSK

Zeptosens said this week that it will supply GlaxoSmithKline with custom-made protein microarrays.

Under the agreement, Zeptosens, located in Witterswil, Switzerland, will provide GSK with protein microarrays designed using GSK analytes and binding reagents. GSK already owns a Zeptosens protein microarray analysis system, which is based on planar waveguide technology.


AAAS: FY 2005 Budget Proposal Would Mean Drop in R&D Funding for Most Agencies

The American Association for the Advancement of Science’s R&D budget director said this week that US President George Bush’s proposed FY 2005 budget would decrease R&D funding for nine of the 12 federal agencies with the largest R&D budgets.

Kei Koizumi, director of the AAAS R&D Budget and Policy Program, speaking at the annual AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy, said funding for the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration would increase, while funding in all other R&D areas would decline.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.