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In Brief This Week: Nanosphere; Oxford BioDynamics, Janssen; Horizon Discovery; Eagle; Gentris

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Nanosphere this week received the CE IVD Mark for its Gram-Negative Blood Culture test that runs on the firm's Verigene molecular diagnostics platform. The Verigene BC-GN test provides rapid genus and species level detection for a broad panel of clinically significant gram-negative bacteria, said Nanosphere. It also detects critical genetic markers of antimicrobial resistance including KPC, NDM, CTX-M, OXA, VIM, and IMP.

Oxford BioDynamics said this week that it has signed an agreement to collaborate with Janssen Research & Development on developing epigenetic cancer biomarkers for circulating tumor cells. The firms will use Oxford's EpiSwitch platform for non-invasive detection of CTCs for diagnostic and prognostic stratification of prostate cancer patients.

Horizon Discovery has established two new centers of excellence for gene editing in Cambridge, UK. The new centers are at the Gurdon Institute, Cambridge University with Professor Steve Jackson, and the Cambridge Institute for Medical Research with Professor David Rubinsztein. Last week the firm announced it had established three new Centers of Excellence for gene editing in Asia.

UK bioinformatics firm Eagle announced that it has received ISO27001 certification, a standard of requirements and best practices for a systematic approach to managing company and customer information. The firm provides genomic analysis and data management services and helps customers move their existing bioinformatics systems to the cloud.

Gentris said this week that its Integrated Biorepository has been accredited by the College of American Pathologists. CAP established the biorepository accreditation program in 2011 to "help ensure consistent, industry-wide verification of biospecimen quality," said Gentris.

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

The Scan

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.