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In Brief This Week: Sigma-Aldrich; CLC Bio; Exiqon; Adaptive TCR; Evogene

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Investment bank Leerink Swann downgraded Sigma-Aldrich to Market Perform from Outperform and reduced its target share price on the firm to a range of between $66 and $70. The bank lowered the EPS estimate for Sigma for full-year 2011 to $3.76 from $3.77. The lower estimates reflect a challenging academic funding environment as well as European macro-environment, an analyst said in a research note.

CLC Bio this week that its operating profit rose more than 50 percent for 2011, year over year, and its software sales increased 30 percent. CEO Thomas Knudsen said its annual profit for the year was more than $1 million.

Exiqon has launched its 2012 research grant program. The program has been seeded with $40,000 and will provide grants to research projects "enhancing the understanding of how microRNA expression and function relates to normal cellular development, and/or disease-related cellular pathways," the firm said in a statement.

Adaptive TCR has changed its name to Adaptive Biotechnologies. The Seattle-based firm makes next-generation sequencing-based assays for the adaptive immune system.

Evogene this week said that it has created a wholly owned subsidiary called Evofuel focused on developing seeds for feedstock that can be used as biofuel.

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

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.