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In Brief This Week: GATC Biotech; NorDiag; Amoy Diagnostics, AstraZeneca; MGRC Berhad; New York Academy of Sciences

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – GATC Biotech will open in early January a new sequencing laboratory in the Life Science Center Dusseldorf in Germany. The new lab will serve scientists in Northern Germany and adjacent countries and provide them with access to the firm's overnight sequencing service.

NorDiag this week said that its third-quarter revenues declined around 10 percent to NOK25.1 million ($4.2 million) from NOK27.9 million year over year. Sales for its sample preparation segment increased to NOK7.5 million from NOK5.4 million. Sales for its HLA typing segment declined to NOK17.5 million from NOK22.6 million, due primarily to a divestment.

Amoy Diagnostics and AstraZeneca are collaborating on workshops in China to demonstrate the use of Amoy's ADx-ARMS technology in detecting epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations in tissue from non-small cell lung cancer samples. AstraZeneca sells the EGFR inhibitor Iressa. Amoy noted that it anticipates regulatory approval in China soon to sell its technology for detecting EGFR mutations.

The Malaysian Genomics Resource Centre Berhad said this week that it has commenced two major genome sequencing and analysis projects: the MyGenome project, which is the first multi-ethnic human genome study of the Malaysian population using deep sequencing, and the Proboscis Monkey Genome Project.

The New York Academy of Sciences this week launched the Life Science Angel Network, which is designed to "fill the gap between New York and tri-state area technology transfer offices, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists by providing capital through member contributions and sponsorships from organizations involved in supporting innovation and building companies."

The Scan

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.