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Tecan, BioDiscovery, NCI, Biacore, TIGR, ILRI, Perlegen, Women s Health Initiative

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Tecan to Integrate BioDiscovery's Array Software

Tecan and BioDiscovery have formed a collaboration in which BioDiscovery's GeneDirector microarray data-management software will be integrated with data from Tecan's HS series of automated hybridization stations, BioDiscovery said last week.

Users will be able to capture, store, and relate information about a particular microarray hybridization experiment run on Tecan's HS instruments to arrays stored in BioDiscovery's GeneDirector database. The information can be used for QC purposes and to correct for process biases, BioDiscovery said.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.


NCI Approves New $104M Clinical Proteomics Technologies Initiative

The National Cancer Institute's Board of Scientific Advisors has approved a five-year, $104 million budget for a new program aimed at optimizing current proteomic technologies.

The program, called the Clinical Proteomics Technologies Initiative, hopes to optimize current proteomic technologies by improving reproducibility, standardization of data formats, throughput capabilities, sample preparation and handling, sensitivity, and specificity.

In addition, the program aims to develop new technologies, reagents, systems, and working consortia to advance the field of cancer proteomics research. Funding for the program will be given out over five years.

According to Gregory Downing, the director of NCI's Office of Technology and Industrial Relations, the NCI will issue requests for applications and request for proposals for the new program in the fall.


Biacore to Move Back to Sweden, Obtain $14M Tax Credit in '05

As part of its plan to move its headquarters back to Uppsala, Sweden, from Neuchatel, Switzerland, protein-chip vendor Biacore will purchase "certain assets" from Switzerland-based Biacore International.

The move will result in a SEK 110 million ($14 million) tax credit, or 11 SEK per share, for the year, the companies said last week in a statement.

The company did not elaborate on which assets would be involved in the transfer.

Biacore expects the write-off to occur over the next five years, and its impact will appear in its July 19 half-year report, the company said.

The move is part of the firm's larger "turnaround plan," which it announced in October.


TIGR, ILRI Sequence Genome of Cattle Parasite T. parva

The Institute for Genomic Research and the Kenya-based International Livestock Research Institute have sequenced the genome of the bacterium Theileria parva, a cattle parasite, the organizations said last week.

The study shows the genome to comprise four chromosomes totaling approximately 9 Mb with no highly repetitive sequences detectable by reassociation kinetics. The paper appears in the current issue of the journal Science.

The research may lead to a vaccine to East Coast fever, a cattle disease endemic to several African countries, as well as shed light on the process through which cells become cancerous, the statement said.

"This parasite has an astonishing ability to induce cancer in its host [white blood cells] in a way that is reversible," Vish Nene, a former ILRI scientist who came to TIGR in 2001, said in the statement. "There are clear links to cancer biology in humans, and this study has given us some clues to pursue."


Perlegen, Women's Health Initiative to
Study SNPs Linked to Hormone Tx, Disease

Perlegen Sciences will help the Women's Health Initiative identify SNPs related to a trio of diseases linked to the use of postmenopausal hormone therapy, the company said last week.

With funding from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, WHI will work with Perlegen to conduct a comparative whole-genome study of SNPs in patients with coronary heart disease, stroke, or breast cancer versus controls.

Perlegen will genotype the SNPs initially in selected cases and controls from the Observational Study arm of the WHI study. These results will be preliminarily validated in a separate set of cases and controls from that OS cohort, while a "final" validation and replication will focus on the interactions of the disease-associated SNPs with the combined estrogen plus progestin therapy in samples from the randomized controlled clinical trial cohort, Perlegen said.

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.