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In Brief This Week: Thermo Fisher Scientific; Corning; Life Technologies; Affymetrix; Saladax; Epistem; MLSC

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Thermo Fisher Scientific this week said that its board of directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.13 per share. It's payable on Oct. 15, to shareholders of record as of Sept. 17.


Corning has opened a new life sciences lab in Palo Alto, Calif., in its existing Corning West Technology Center. The lab will provide customers and researchers with onsite expertise in using the firm's technologies for cell-based, biochemical, and molecular biology assays.


JP Morgan this week downgraded the stocks of Life Technologies and Affymetrix. It downgraded Life Tech to Neutral from Overweight and lowered its share price target to $46 from $52. It lowered Affy's stock to Underweight from Neutral.


Saladax Biomedical has achieved CE Mark registration for its MyPaclitaxel and MyDocetaxel therapeutic dose management assays. The tests, which can now be commercialized in Europe, provide patient-specific chemotherapy dose optimization.


Epistem has received the CE-IVD Mark for its molecular diagnostic test for tuberculosis. The test runs on the firm's point-of-care GeneDrive device.


The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center has launched its 2012-2013 Accelerator Loan Program, which provides working capital for early-stage life sciences companies. The program loans up to $1 million to each company. Since its launch in 2009, the program has awarded $11.2 million in loans to 20 companies. Among the firms that have received funding is Good Start Genetics, which is using next-generation sequencing technology to develop tests for all American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics recommended disorders.


A new open-access journal called Microbiome has been launched by BioMed Central. The new journal, which focuses on microbiome research, is edited by Jacques Ravel, from the University of Maryland School of Medicine's Institute for Genome Sciences, and Eric Wommack, from the University of Delaware.


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

The Scan

And For Adolescents

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15 years old.

Also of Concern to WHO

The Wall Street Journal reports that the World Health Organization has classified the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.617 as a "variant of concern."

Test for Them All

The New York Times reports on the development of combined tests for SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses like influenza.

PNAS Papers on Oral Microbiome Evolution, Snake Toxins, Transcription Factor Binding

In PNAS this week: evolution of oral microbiomes among hominids, comparative genomic analysis of snake toxins, and more.