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The firm's shares eclipsed the $5 mark for the first time since last year's dismissal of its CEO and other executives following an investigation into the mishandling of test data on its Down Syndrome test.

Robert W. Baird upped its rating on Sigma-Aldrich's shares the day after the firm beat analysts' estimates for Q4 2009.

The investment bank maintained its 12-month price targets on the respective stocks. It said that Genomic Health was trading at an "attractive entry point."

Compugen's shares were up more than 1,000 percent for the year, leading a group of eight firms whose stocks returned a greater than 100 percent gain.

The firm came under threat of delisting after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Compugen climbed following two announcements during the month, while Helicos slumped after a placement of its shares with investors.

The upgrade comes a few weeks after Beckman Coulter issued preliminary 2010 EPS guidance.

Compugen's shares jumped 35 percent in early trade after it announced the discovery of a cancer drug target.

Decode's shares sank to a few pennies after the firm filed for bankruptcy protection. Meanwhile, Sequenom rose as it attempts rebound from a major setback in its Down syndrome test development program.

October was a tough month for tech stocks, and biotech stocks in particular. The GWDN Index fell 5 percent, with Affymetrix and Helicos recording the biggest declines for the month.

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The Associated Press reports that a state board in Texas has asked ANDE, a maker of rapid DNA machines, to halt its work there.

James Wyngaarden, the former director of the US National Institutes of Health, has died at 94, according to Duke University School of Medicine.

Researchers find that a 30-year-old skull comes from a narwhal-beluga hybrid, according to Science News.

In Nature this week: study of value diversity in GWAS, Epstein-Barr virus subtypes linked to nasopharyngeal carcinoma risk, and more.