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In Brief This Week: 23andMe; FDNA; WaferGen Biosystems; and More

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – 23andMe announced this week that that it has launched a grant program as part of its Genotyping Services for Research platform. The company will select grant proposals on the basis of scientific significance, approach, feasibility, investigator expertise, innovativeness, and how the return of genetic information will affect participant engagement. Educational institutions, universities, and research centers performing genomics research in the US are all eligible. 23andMe will select two proposals — each will receive 200 of the firm's DNA collection kits. 

WaferGen Biosystems said this week that stockholders who have not yet voted on the proposed merger with Takara Bio USA Holdings should do so immediately. The company is recommending that stockholders vote yes. Independent advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis & Co. have also recommended that stockholders of WaferGen vote in favor of the merger. 

FDNA announced this week that it has partnered with Centogene to conduct molecular testing in the case of a patient with an unknown genetic disorder. The patient case was the first selected through FDNA's grant program, which was launched in March. FDNA used its Face2Gene deep phenotyping and facial analysis technology to prioritize and analyze the molecular testing in this case.

SeqLL this week launched its tSMS System Early Access Program to give researchers priority access to its quantitative sequencing platform. The benchtop system can be used for both quantitative RNA and specialty DNA sequencing, and has the capacity to detect low-fold changes and discover rare transcripts that are missed by other sequencing methods, the company said. For more on SeqLL and its technology, see this article posted on GenomeWeb today.

Human Metabolome Technologies announced this week that it has been awarded a contract to work with the National Institute on Aging on a study of the mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease. The project is led by NIA clinical investigator Madhav Thambisetty. He and his team hope to gain new insight into the disease and identify novel biomarkers that might be predictive of disease before the onset of symptoms. HMT said it will provide high-resolution metabolomic profiling of human brain tissue samples provided by the NIA using capillary electrophoresis mass spectrometry platforms to measure absolute and relative levels of metabolites associated with many Alzheimer's pathogenesis pathways.

Science Exchange and SolveBio said this week that SolveBio's services will now be available through the Science Exchange marketplace to pharmaceutical and biotech companies around the world.

In Brief This Week is a selection of news items that may be of interest to our readers but had not previously appeared on the GenomeWeb site.