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In Brief This Week: GE Healthcare, Clarient; Expression Analysis, Illumina; LumiGene; Ontario Genomics Institute, ArcticDx; BASF Plant Sciences, Precision BioSciences

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – GE Healthcare has commenced its tender offer to acquire Clarient in a cash deal valued at approximately $570 million to $580 million. The firm announced the offer two weeks ago, and said today that the offer will expire at midnight New York City time on Dec. 6, unless extended.

Expression Analysis and Illumina announced this week that they are jointly funding a new grant program to support cancer genetics research. Under the program, Illumina will provide microarrays and reagents, and Expression Analysis will perform services and data analysis consultation related to genome-wide association studies, at no charge to the grant winner. Applications are due by Jan. 15, 2011.

The proposed reverse acquisition of LumiGene into Pole Perfect Studios has fallen through, according to a statement this week from Pole Perfect. A letter of intent for the deal was signed a couple of months ago.

The Ontario Genomics Institute this week said that it has invested in Toronto-based ArcticDx through its Pre-Commercialization Business Development Fund. OGI did not disclose the amount of funding it provided, but it said that ArcticDx will use the money to undertake studies in support of a planned filing for US Food and Drug Administration clearance of its Macula Risk test. The assay contains markers designed to determine a person's inherited risk for age-related macular degeneration.

BASF Plant Sciences has licensed non-exclusive access to Precision BioSciences' Directed Nuclease Editor technology to modify the genomes of and confer desirable traits into plant species.

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.