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Competition Time

Researchers looking for alternative support for their projects amid a tight funding environment might want to consider two industry-funded award competitions launched this week.

One, called the Populus Award, is sponsored by UK-based Population Genetics and will provide "financial and expert practical support for the completion of a multi-sample gene sequencing project" using the company's proprietary molecular tagging technology.

The company is soliciting abstracts from researchers "undertaking a range of population genetics studies." Applications can submitted here until Nov. 30. The winning team will be announced in January 2013.

In another competition, Assay Depot, the Rare Genomics Institute, and 19 life science companies are partnering on a rare disease research challenge called Be HEARD, or Helping Empower and Accelerate Research Discoveries.

The sponsoring organizations are donating $400,000 worth of technology, services, and resources as well as a $10,000 cash prize.

Non-profits, academic researchers, rare disease advocacy groups, families of rare disease patients, and for-profit companies are eligible to submit proposals here before Dec. 15.

Industry sponsors include Biopta, Charles River Laboratories, DNA Software, HistoRx, Ingenuity Systems, and Taconic.

The Scan

Drug Response Variants May Be Distinct in Somatic, Germline Samples

Based on variants from across 21 drug response genes, researchers in The Pharmacogenomics Journal suspect that tumor-only DNA sequences may miss drug response clues found in the germline.

Breast Cancer Risk Gene Candidates Found by Multi-Ancestry Low-Frequency Variant Analysis

Researchers narrowed in on new and known risk gene candidates with variant profiles for almost 83,500 individuals with breast cancer and 59,199 unaffected controls in Genome Medicine.

Health-Related Quality of Life Gets Boost After Microbiome-Based Treatment for Recurrent C. Diff

A secondary analysis of Phase 3 clinical trial data in JAMA Network Open suggests an investigational oral microbiome-based drug may lead to enhanced quality of life measures.

Study Follows Consequences of Early Confirmatory Trials for Accelerated Approval Indications

Time to traditional approval or withdrawal was shorter when confirmatory trials started prior to accelerated approval, though overall regulatory outcomes remained similar, a JAMA study finds.