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In Brief This Week

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Affymetrix said this week that the J. Craig Venter Institute has launched Affy's FDA-ECSG custom microarray for identifying and discriminating between different strains of E. coli and Shigella. The new array is being made freely available to researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-supported Pathogen Functional Genomics Resource Center.

Celera said this week that data is being presented at the 13th World Conference on Lung Cancer as part of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer in San Francisco showing that the firm's nine-biomarker immunoassay can detect lung cancer with 92 percent sensitivity and 93 percent specificity. The firm said that the panel also accurately distinguished malignant cases from benign lung disease.

The validation study was conducted in collaboration with scientists at NYU Langone Medical Center. Celera said that it confirms the performance of a nine-biomarker panel previously presented at the 100th Annual American Association for Cancer Research Conference in April 2009.

In addition, the authors of the study reported "high performance" of a six-marker panel derived from the nine-marker panel, which distinguished malignant cases with 92 percent sensitivity at 88 percent specificity. Celera said that it will continue to evaluate the clinical utility of both panels in an effort to determine which panel would offer optimal performance in a broad clinical setting.

Coral Springs, Fla.-based CyGene said this week that it has launched the first predictive DNA tests into the Russian market. The firm said that it had launched its predictive genetic products through its exclusive licensee, CyGene Russia.

The Scan

Wolf Howl Responses Offer Look at Vocal Behavior-Related Selection in Dogs

In dozens of domestic dogs listening to wolf vocalizations, researchers in Communication Biology see responses varying with age, sex, reproductive status, and a breed's evolutionary distance from wolves.

Facial Imaging-Based Genetic Diagnoses Appears to Get Boost With Three-Dimensional Approach

With data for more than 1,900 individuals affected by a range of genetic conditions, researchers compared facial phenotype-based diagnoses informed by 2D or 3D images in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Survey Suggests Multigene Cancer Panel VUS Reporting May Vary Across Genetic Counselors

Investigators surveyed dozens of genetic counselors working in clinical or laboratory settings, uncovering attitudes around VUS reporting after multigene cancer panel testing in the Journal of Genetic Counseling.

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.