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In Brief This Week: Agilent Technologies, Varian; BGI; Beckman Coulter, Premier; National League for Nursing, NHGRI

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Agilent Technologies this week said that it expects its acquisition of Varian to close in either late April or early May. The $1.5 billion deal was signed last June, but had been held up by regulatory reviews in the EU and US.


Agilent also said this week that BGI has selected Agilent to "streamline and enhance" its next-generation sequencing workflow. BGI, formerly the Beijing Genomics Institute, will use Agilent's SureSelect Target Enrichment System, Bravo Automated Liquid Handling Platform, and 2100 Bioanalyzer in its research.


Beckman Coulter this week disclosed in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it has notified customers that it will remove its AccuTnI troponin test kits from use with the company's UniCel DxI immunoassay system as of May 31. In early February, the firm had informed customers of a positive bias in results for its troponin test kits that run on the UniCel DxI immunoassay system. That notice recommended that customers using the troponin test kits discontinue use if an alternative methodology was available.


Beckman Coulter also said this week that Premier Purchasing Partners, a group purchasing unit of healthcare alliance Premier, will provide Beckman's automation, general chemistry, immunoassay, and integrated work cell products to its members at specially negotiated prices under a new three-year deal.


The National League for Nursing said this week that it is one of eight organizations tapped by the National Human Genome Research Institute to participate in the creation and launch of a new online resource for teaching genetics/human genomics to nurses and physician assistants.

The Scan

And For Adolescents

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15 years old.

Also of Concern to WHO

The Wall Street Journal reports that the World Health Organization has classified the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.617 as a "variant of concern."

Test for Them All

The New York Times reports on the development of combined tests for SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses like influenza.

PNAS Papers on Oral Microbiome Evolution, Snake Toxins, Transcription Factor Binding

In PNAS this week: evolution of oral microbiomes among hominids, comparative genomic analysis of snake toxins, and more.