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In Brief This Week: BGI; Accelr8 Technology; XDx

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – BGI and Xi'an Jiaotong University announced today that they have completed the sequencing of the endangered crested ibis (Nipponia Nippon). They said it is the fourth bird to be sequenced in the world, following the chicken, zebra finch, and turkey, and "has significant value and strategic importance to the protection and rescue of crested ibis from extinction and for the definition of its biological phenomenon." The sequencing effort was part of BGI's 1000 Plant and Animal Reference Genomes Project.

Accelr8 Technology said this week that its option agreement with Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics extends the exclusivity period for good faith negotiations of business terms for a definitive pact. The extension period now includes milestones related to product development. As reported in February by GenomeWeb Daily News, Novartis is evaluating Accelr8's BACcel system for identifying the type and quantity of bacterial pathogens in clinical specimens through a technology evaluation agreement that has been extended to June 30, 2011.

XDx said this week that its AlloMap test has been CE Marked in the European Union under the In Vitro Diagnostics Directive. XDx received US Food and Drug Administration clearance for AlloMap in 2008. The test is a non-invasive, multi-gene expression assay used to aid in the identification of heart transplant recipients with stable allograft function who have a low probability of moderate/severe acute cellular rejection at the time of testing in conjunction with a standard clinical assessment.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.