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In Brief This Week: Beckman Coulter; Source BioScience, Fluidigm; 5AM Solutions; BioSystem Development

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Beckman Coulter is laying off 11 employees from its facility in Webster, Texas, according to that state's most recent WARN notice. Beckman employs 92 full-time employees at the site, which performs R&D and makes diagnostic reagents. The layoffs are scheduled to happen by Jan. 15, 2010.

Source BioScience said that it has begun offering genotyping services using Fluidigm's EP1 System, a microfluidic-based single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping platform. The Nottingham, UK-based firm announced the service at the launch of the University College London Genetics Institute, where the firm has a genotyping and DNA sequencing facility.

5AM Solutions this week announced the launch of Family Helix Community, an interactive web portal designed to facilitate collaboration among researchers, epidemiologists, and clinicians as they aim to collect and use family health history data. 5AM has provided initial funding for Family Helix, which is a non-profit organization established to develop and manage the Family Helix Community. The partners will work with the National Coalition for Health Integration, which is working on providing an integrated health information platform that supports the management and secure exchange of biomedical data on a national scale.

Madison, Wis.-based BioSystem Development has raised $1.4 million from private investors to support commercialization of AssayMAP products. The firm's AssayMAP platform enables high-throughput solutions for bioprocess development, biomarkers, and life sciences research.

Two of the firm's manufacturing partners, All Metal Stamping and Orbital Biosciences contributed $350,000 to the round in the form of tooling and manufacturing infrastructure. The remaining investment of just over $1 million came from current investors including Marshfield Investment Partners, Silicon Pastures, and Chippewa Valley Angel Investors Network.

The Scan

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.