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In Brief This Week: Sequenom; IDBS; Agilent; Molecular Devices; Eurofins MWG Operon; Covaris, BGI

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Sequenom filed a document with the US Securities and Exchange Commission this week disclosing that FMR LLC, also known as Fidelity Investments, now owns a 14.99 percent stake in the firm. According to the filing, FMR owns around 14.8 million shares of Sequenom stock. Of that total, FMR subsidiary Fidelity Management & Research Co. holds 13.1 million of the shares. FMR subsidiary Pyramis Global Advisors owns 22,770 shares, while Pyramis Global Advisors Trust holds around 1.7 million shares of Sequenom.

Guildford, UK-based IDBS has established its US Healthcare headquarters in Burlington, Mass., as part of an expansion at that office. The informatics firm said that it recently added 22 full-time employees on the East Coast including eight in Massachusetts.

Agilent Technologies this week said that it has launched a system biology grant program. It plans to award two grants of $75,000 each to a single academic or non-profit research lab this year. One grant will be for validating protein pathway information using integrated proteomic data with transcriptomic or metabolic datasets, and the other will be for modeling disease progression using a combination of gene expression and copy number variation data.

The submission deadline is Aug. 12, with grants to be announced on Sept. 30. Researchers can apply here.

Molecular Devices said that the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation has accredited the Laboratory Quality System under ISO/IEC 17025 for validation plate calibration and recalibration processes for microplate readers.

Eurofins MWG Operon said this week that it has opened a new sequencing facility in Petaluma, Calif., with the aim of providing overnight Sanger DNA sequencing services to the San Francisco Bay area and next-day service to the Western US.

Covaris said this week that BGI will use its high-throughput DNA shearing technology at several of its laboratories in China. BGI will use Covaris' LE220 instrument and consumables as part of its library construction process for next-generation sequencing.

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.