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Expression Analysis, RainDance Offer Cancer Collaboration

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Expression Analysis and RainDance Technologies will collaborate to offer researchers services that can characterize rare genetic mutations relevant to complex diseases, particularly cancer, Expression Analysis said today.

The company said that the firms will work together with and sponsor eight researchers to "define a panel of high-priority genomic targets" that would be used in large-scale re-sequencing studies of cancer samples.

The collaborations will provide researchers with a variety of support services including PCR primer design for genes and loci specified using the RainDance primer design library. Expression Analysis will enrich target loci using RainDance's RDT 1000 and will sequence these loci using Illumina's Genome Analyzer, and it will offer data analysis services including mapping and SNP detection.

Expression Analysis CEO Steve McPhail said in a statement that the collaboration "will enable us to provide targeted resequencing for areas of the genome thought to be involved in disease processes, thereby providing the research community with tools to accelerate the pace of cancer research."

"Genomic discoveries are paramount to ultimately uncovering underlying mechanisms of cancer development and we believe this collaboration will work to further quicken the progress of those discoveries – and their ultimate benefits to science and human health and medicine," RainDance Technologies VP of Commercial Operations Stephen Becker said in the statement.

Proposals for the collaborations are due June 12, 2009.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.