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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

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.