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In Brief This Week: NanoSort; Ambry Genetics; American College of Medical Genetics; GenDx

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Cancer Institute has awarded startup NanoSort a two-year, $297,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant, as well as a nine-month, $198,000 contract. NanoSort will use the funds to develop devices to detect circulating tumor cells using two different approaches. The San Diego-based firm applies lab-on-a-chip technologies to drastically reduce the size and cost of flow cytometers while maintaining high performance., it said.

Ambry Genetics said that it has begun offering exome sequencing services for clinical diagnostic applications through its CLIA lab. The firm claims that this is the first time next-generation sequencing of the exome has been made available on a clinical basis along with clinical interpretation and classification of variant data.

The American College of Medical Genetics said this week that it has launched the ACMG Foundation Summer Genetics Scholars Program, which enables 20 medical students to work with clinical geneticist mentors at prestigious medical institutions throughout the country for six weeks. The students also will receive a stipend.

Dutch molecular diagnostics firm GenDx has received the CE Mark for its SBTexcellerator reagents for high-resolution HLA typing. GenDx has an ongoing collaboration with Qiagen to develop and commercialize products for HLA testing. The firm noted that Qiagen is the exclusive worldwide distributor for the SBT reagent line.

In Brief This Week is a Friday column containing news items that our readers may have missed during the week.

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The Scan

Team Tracks Down Potential Blood Plasma Markers Linked to Heart Failure in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

Researchers in BMC Genomics found 10 differentially expressed proteins or metabolites that marked atrial fibrillation with heart failure cases.

Study Points to Synonymous Mutation Effects on E. Coli Enzyme Activity

Researchers in Nature Chemistry saw signs of enzyme activity shifts in the presence of synonymous mutations in a multiscale modeling analysis of three Escherichia coli genes.

Team Outlines Paternal Sample-Free Single-Gene Approach for Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening

With data for nearly 9,200 pregnant individuals, researchers in Genetics in Medicine demonstrate the feasibility of their carrier screening and reflex single-gene non-invasive prenatal screening approach.

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.