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Beckman Coulter, Fisher Scientific and Apogent Technologies, and Integrated Genomics


Beckman Coulter Founder Arnold Beckman Dies at 104

Arnold Orville Beckman, founder and chairman emeritus of Beckman Coulter, died May 18 at Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla, Calif. He was 104, and died in his sleep, according to the company.

He is survived by his son, Arnold Stone Beckman; daughter, Patricia Beckman; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. His wife Mabel Meinzer Beckman died in 1989.

Beckman, who was born on April 10, 1900, in Cullom, Ill., founded Beckman Instruments in 1935 and began selling a pH meter, which was one of his first inventions. The product earned him a place in the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1987. In total, Beckman registered 14 patents.

He was also a philanthropist. Through the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, which he formed with his wife, Mabel, in 1977, Beckman contributed more than $400 million to help support scientific research and education, Beckman Coulter said.

Beckman received the 2004 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame, and his pH meter, one of his first inventions, was designated as a National Historic Chemical Landmark by the American Chemical Society. US President Ronald Reagan presented him with the 1988 National Medal of Technology and the 1989 Presidential Citizens Medal, and President George HW Bush awarded him the 1989 National Medal of Science. In 1999, Beckman received the Public Welfare Medal from the National Academy of Sciences.

Beckman earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a master’s degree in physical chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He received a doctorate in photochemistry from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., where he taught between 1928 and 1940.

Fisher Scientific, Apogent Merger Gets FTC OK

Fisher Scientific and Apogent Technologies announced on May 21 the expiration of the waiting period required under US antitrust law relating to their proposed $3.7 billion merger.

The companies said that the end of the waiting period indicates that the US Federal Trade Commission has completed its investigation into any potential antitrust violations associated with the deal and found that the companies meet all requirements.

The merger, first announced in March, is expected to close around July 1, the companies said.

Integrated Genomics Raises Over $1M in VC Round; Plans to Develop Microbial Arrays

Integrated Genomics has raised more than $1 million in a venture capital financing round, the Chicago-based company said.

Integrated did not disclose the exact funding amount, or even the investor. It plans to use the cash to expand its business, particularly in the area of metabolic engineering.

The company, which specializes in the industrial use of microorganisms, also plans to develop microarrays for quality control and process optimization for particular industries, according to Kathe Andrews-Cramer, Integrated’s director for business development.


The Scan

Man Charged With Threatening to Harm Fauci, Collins

The Hill reports that Thomas Patrick Connally, Jr., was charged with making threats against federal officials.

Nature Papers Present Approach to Find Natural Products, Method to ID Cancer Driver Mutations, More

In Nature this week: combination of cryogenic electron microscopy with genome mining helps uncover natural products, driver mutations in cancer, and more.

Driving Malaria-Carrying Mosquitoes Down

Researchers from the UK and Italy have tested a gene drive for mosquitoes to limit the spread of malaria, NPR reports.

Office Space to Lab Space

The New York Times writes that some empty office spaces are transforming into lab spaces.