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Biolog, Shanghai Fosun Medical Systems, SRU Biosystems, Corning, HHMI, NHLBI

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Biolog, Chinese Firm Establish Joint Venture for Clinical Microbiology

Biolog said recently that it has established a joint venture and developed a clinical microbiological identification and susceptibility system with Shanghai Fosun Medical Systems.

The companies will place a new system called Bio-Fosun in Shanghai. It is designed to improve the simplicity, speed, and accuracy of bacterial identification, and is targeted at mid-sized hospitals and medical laboratories worldwide, Biolog said.

Biolog will retain the right to market and sell the product outside the US, it said. Further details were not disclosed.


Court Finds SRU Biosystems Infringed Optical Biosensors IP Licensed to Corning

The United States District Court for the District of Delaware found that SRU Biosystems has infringed a US patent exclusively licensed to Corning, Corning said last week.

The patent, No. 4,815,843, covers optical biosensors that enable label-independent detection of chemical, biochemical and biological substances in a sample, Corning said. It was licensed from Artificial Sensing Instruments of Zurich, Switzerland.

Corning, in conjunction with ASI, filed a lawsuit in July 2003 to terminate SRU's infringement.

In addition to declaring SRU's infrinegement, the US District Court also found that SRU had induced infringement through its testing activities with a potential partner.


HHMI Awards $10M to Promote Interdisciplinary Biomedical Education

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has set aside $10 million as part of an effort to increase interdisciplinary graduate education, the institute said last week.

HHMI has partnered with the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering to award 10 $1 million grants to programs that support both physical and biomedical sciences, including nanotechnology, computational biology, and genomics.

According to HHMI, the recipients of the awards are Brandeis University; Carnegie Mellon University; Johns Hopkins University; New Jersey Institute of Technology; the University of California, Irvine; the University of California, San Diego; the University of California, San Francisco; the University of Chicago; the University of New Mexico; and the University of Pennsylvania.


NHLBI Sets Aside $24.3M RFA for Systems Biology Research

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recently issued a request for applications for collaborative research projects combining computational modeling and simulation approaches with experimental validation of model predictions to improve understanding of heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders.

The NHLBI said it plans to award $24.3 million over the next five years to support nine new cluster grants, three in each of the next three years, focused on developing systems biology approaches to "explaining and predicting complex cellular and physiological phenomena of living organisms in terms of underlying physical and chemical processes and accompanying feedback regulations at molecular, cellular, tissue, or whole organ levels" in the context of heart, lung, blood, and sleep physiology and pathophysiology.

Examples of research topics that fall under this request include, but are not limited to: networks involved in regulating oxygen delivery, including regulation of hemoglobin levels though control of red cell production, changes in vascular tone, and regulation of distribution of blood flow in different vasculatures; electrical and structural simulations of the heart, including expression of ion channel genes, that predict occurrence of arrhythmias and responses to potential treatments; and the role of inflammation in the development of pulmonary, thrombotic, and cardiovascular diseases and responses to pharmacological intervention, targeting NSAID therapy.

Letters of intent are due by Feb. 8, 2006, with final applications due by March 10, according to the NHLBI. The RFA expires on March 11.

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.