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In Brief This Week: Exiqon; Roche 454 Life Sciences; Center for Medicine in the Public Interest

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Exiqon unveiled a new grant program today for researchers at academic and non-profit institutions in North America conducting microRNA studies. The firm said that the grant program has been established with internal seed funding of $25,000. It did not say how many awards it would grant, but said that recipients may use the awards for purchasing Exiqon microRNA products or services. Applications are due June 15, with recipients announced no later than July 1, the firm said.

Roche said this week that researchers from its 454 Life Sciences company collaborated with Malaysian bioinformatics firm Synamatix and Sime Darby to complete the sequencing, assembly, and annotation of the oil palm genome. The collaborative effort also analyzed gene expression at various stages of development in order to elucidate oil biosynthesis mechanisms through the sequencing of 12 transcriptomes.

The Center for Medicine in the Public Interest this week launched its Odyssey Project, a multi-year initiative that will focus on drumming up support for biomedical innovation as part of any healthcare reform efforts. CMP said that the project "will propose fundamental changes in attitudes, regulations, health policies and healthcare financing that focuses on the near-term potential of new technologies and services that advance personalized medicine and allow individuals to save money while improving their health."

The Scan

Myotonic Dystrophy Repeat Detected in Family Genome Sequencing Analysis

While sequencing individuals from a multi-generation family, researchers identified a myotonic dystrophy type 2-related short tandem repeat in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

TB Resistance Insights Gleaned From Genome Sequence, Antimicrobial Response Assays

Researchers in PLOS Biology explore M. tuberculosis resistance with a combination of sequencing and assays looking at the minimum inhibitory concentrations of 13 drugs.

Mendelian Disease Genes Prioritized Using Tissue-Specific Expression Clues

Mendelian gene candidates could be flagged for further functional analyses based on tissue-specific transcriptome and proteome profiles, a new Journal of Human Genetics paper says.

Single-Cell Sequencing Points to Embryo Mosaicism

Mosaicism may affect preimplantation genetic tests for aneuploidy, a single-cell sequencing-based analysis of almost three dozen embryos in PLOS Genetics finds.