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In Brief This Week: PerkinElmer; Life Technologies; Quest Diagnostics; Becton Dickinson; Equinome

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – PerkinElmer has opened a new South African headquarters in Midrand, South Africa. It will support the firm's business in a variety of sectors, including academia, mining and mineral testing, chemical and petrochemical analysis, pharmaceutical applications, and food and beverage safety testing. The new office will be supported by 25 sales, support, and service employees and will serve South Africa and neighboring countries, said PerkinElmer.

Life Technologies this week said that it has received the CE-IVD Mark for its QuantStudio Dx Real-Time PCR Instrument and has launched the system in Europe. The system performs pathogen detection, gene expression analysis, SNP genotyping, copy number analysis, mutation detection, micro-RNA and other non-coding RNA analysis, and high-resolution melt analysis.

It is being launched with CE-marked Quidel Molecular Assay for C. difficile detection, which Life Technologies distributes.

In addition, Life Tech said that it intends to file for 510(k) clearance of the QuantStudio instrument from the United States Food and Drug Administration in December 2012.

Quest Diagnostics said this week that its board of directors has increased the firm's quarterly dividend 76 percent to $.30 per share. The dividend is payable Jan. 28, 2013 to shareholders of record on Jan. 11.

Becton Dickinson's board of directors has declared a quarterly dividend of $.495 per share, a 10 percent increase from the previous quarter. The dividend is payable on Dec. 31, 2012 to holders of record on Dec. 10.

Equinome, an Irish equine genomic testing firm, said this week that is has opened a sales and marketing office in Australia. The firm makes genetic tests for thoroughbred horses and is a spinout from University College Dublin. It said the expansion will give it a foothold in the Asia-Pacific region.

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

The Scan

Enzyme Involved in Lipid Metabolism Linked to Mutational Signatures

In Nature Genetics, a Wellcome Sanger Institute-led team found that APOBEC1 may contribute to the development of the SBS2 and SBS13 mutational signatures in the small intestine.

Family Genetic Risk Score Linked to Diagnostic Trajectory in Psychiatric Disorders

Researchers in JAMA Psychiatry find ties between high or low family genetic risk scores and diagnostic stability or change in four major psychiatric disorders over time.

Study Questions Existence of Fetal Microbiome

A study appearing in Nature this week suggests that the reported fetal microbiome might be the result of sample contamination.

Fruit Fly Study Explores Gut Microbiome Effects on Circadian Rhythm

With gut microbiome and gene expression experiments, researchers in PNAS see signs that the microbiome contributes to circadian rhythm synchronicity and stability in fruit flies.