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In Brief This Week: Ginkgo Bioworks, Novacyt, Viome, and More

NEW YORK – Ginkgo Bioworks this week said it is collaborating with Quest Diagnostics to provide COVID-19 testing for grades K-12 to support in-class learning nationwide. The Boston-based firm noted that Quest can perform 300,000 COVID-19 molecular tests daily through its network of two dozen COVID-19 testing labs, while Ginkgo's Concentric by Ginkgo platform allows schools to sign up for testing, secure data management, order supplies, integrate follow-up testing regimes, and provide support services. Concentric serves about 1,000 schools across the US, and Ginkgo has similar collaborations with other labs providing COVID-19 testing including Dascena LabsOlive Labs, and CQentia.

Novacyt said this week it will donate 1 million of its COVID-19 PCR tests to UNICEF to contain the spread of SARS-CoV-2. The donation will help the organization work with governments to fill in gaps in COVID-19 testing, Novacyt said, adding it will send its test kits to countries with a need and the infrastructure to conduct PCR-based testing. The first four countries that have expressed an interest are Nigeria, Palestine, the Maldives, and South Sudan. Novacyt received CE marking for its next-generation, high-throughput PCR test for COVID-19, COVID-HT Direct, in February.

Viome said this week that its newly developed, saliva-based oral and throat cancer detection technology has been designated a Breakthrough Device by the Food and Drug Administration. The test uses the firm's proprietary mRNA analysis technology and AI platform to detect cancer-associated signals that reflect the interaction between microbial activity and human gene expression.

Early cancer detection diagnostic company Cleveland Diagnostics announced this week that its CLIA-certified reference laboratory received laboratory accreditation from the College of American Pathologists. CAP Accreditation is awarded to labs that meet strict requirements and maintain high standards of accuracy, quality, and consistency. It includes a site inspection with examination of the lab’s records, quality control procedures for the previous two years, lab staff qualifications, equipment, facilities, safety program and record, and overall management.

Danaher announced this week that its board has approved a regular quarterly cash dividend of $.21 per share of its common stock, payable on July 30 to shareholders of record on June 25. The board also approved a quarterly cash dividend of $11.88 per share of its 4.75 percent Series A Mandatory Convertible Preferred Stock and a quarterly cash dividend of $12.50 per share of its 5 percent Series B Mandatory Convertible Preferred Stock, both payable on July 15 to shareholders of record on June 30.

In Brief This Week is a selection of news items that may be of interest to our readers but had not previously appeared on GenomeWeb. 

The Scan

Harvard Team Report One-Time Base Editing Treatment for Motor Neuron Disease in Mice

A base-editing approach restored SMN levels and improved motor function in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy, a new Science paper reports.

International Team Examines History of North American Horses

Genetic and other analyses presented in Science find that horses spread to the northern Rockies and Great Plains by the first half of the 17th century.

New Study Examines Genetic Dominance Within UK Biobank

Researchers analyze instances of genetic dominance within UK Biobank data, as they report in Science.

Cell Signaling Pathway Identified as Metastasis Suppressor

A new study in Nature homes in on the STING pathway as a suppressor of metastasis in a mouse model of lung cancer.