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Phase-1 Molecular Toxicology, Strand Genomics, Andres Figueroa, ChondroGene, Agilent, Hyderabad, University of Washington


Phase-1 Becomes Authorized Affymetrix Service Provider

Phase-1 Molecular Toxicology of Santa Fe, NM, last week joined a growing list of companies that are authorized service providers for Affymetrix.

Phase-1, which focuses on toxicogenomics, will provide scanning and analysis of GeneChip-brand microarrays in addition to the cDNA microarray services it provides. The eight-year-old company emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings in December with a staff of 15, according to an April report in the New Mexico Business Weekly.

Affymetrix commercial service providers in the US now include: Phase-1; Expression Analysis of Durham, NC; and Genome Explorations of Memphis. Affymetrix in early May announced that Bio Matrix Research, Kurabo Industries, Mitsubishi Chemical Safety Institute, and Takara Bio would offer authorized services in Japan.


Singapore’s Bioprocessing Institute Licenses Strand Genomics’ Microarray Software

Strand Genomics of Bangalore, India, said last week that Singapore’s Bioprocessing Technology Institute has purchased a license for its Soochika microarray data mining and management software. Financial terms of the agreement were not provided.


Cal-Riverside Grad Student Computes Microarray Data and a Winning Poster

Andres Figueroa, a computer science PhD candidate at the University of California, Riverside, won a Best Poster award, and a laptop, at the International Research in Computational Molecular Biology in Berlin in April, topping 180 other submissions, according to a university statement.

Figueroa’s poster, “Clustering binary fingerprint vectors with missing values for DNA array data analysis,” based on a paper submitted for publication to the Journal of Computational Biology, according to the university. Riverside’s James Borneman, an assistant professor of plant pathology, and Tao Jiang, a professor of computer science and engineering, are co-authors.

Figueroa, a Mexican national, is conducting PhD research on designing, implementing, and developing algorithms for DNA microarray data analysis.


ChondroGene to Acquire GeneNews

Toronto-based ChondroGene announced last week that it intends to acquire GeneNews, a technology-based firm, for CA $2.1 million ($1.6 million US) in a cash and shares deal, which is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.

The two companies have in common Choong-Chin Liew as founder. Liew developed a proprietary technol-ogy in the “general area of arthritis,” ChondroGene said in a statement, and Liew, who is director, chief scientist and chairman of CondroGene, commercialized it through GeneNews, including a licensing agreement with ChondroGene. GAV BioFarm, a firm controlled by Liew, holds a 52 percent equity stake in GeneNews.

ChondroGene says it has established an independent committee of its directors, except Liew, to consider an acquisition its says would bring an “important” technology under its control.


Agilent Makes AgBioTech Official

Agilent Technologies last week introduced its AgBiotech business program, which will build on the foundation of the company’s microarray and microfluidics technology platforms to target agricultural and food-safety industries.

The company also said that its previously announced Magnaporthe grisea (rice blast) oligo microarray kit (G4137A), developed with NC State University professor Ralph Dean, will carry genetic probes from the filamentous fungus, as well as from rice.


Hyderabad, India, Service Provider Prepares Protein-Chip Analysis

Apollo Hospitals, a Hyderabad, India, healthcare services provider, has installed the Evidence protein biochip analyzer, a system developed by Randox Laboratories of the UK, according to a news report in the Financial Express, an Indian publication.

Apollo is seeking to establish a genetic research and diagnostic center in Hyderabad to provide services to other hospital groups and to expand on an established molecular diagnostics center.


University of Washington Purchases Site License for Spotfire’s DecisionSite

Spotfire said last week that the University of Washington has purchased a site-wide license for its DecisionSite analytical software.

The university has integrated Spotfire's software with its in-house gene array database and analysis system of internal and external proteomics and microarray data for UW's microbiology research.

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.