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In Brief This Week: Genedata; Geneart; Sigma-Aldrich; DNAStar, Scarab Genomics; Knome; Dotmatics, Cephalon; OpenHelix, Washington University

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Genedata this week said that its Phylosopher data management product has been adopted by the "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde" project, which aims to identify targets for diagnostics, patient-risk assessment, and therapies for infectious diseases caused by Candida albicans. The project involves a consortium of research institutes, universities, clinics, and industrial partners, and is funded by the German Medical Systems Biology initiative.

Geneart this week said that preliminary figures show that the firm generated net sales of €4.57 million ($6.1 million) for the first quarter of 2010, up from sales of €4.04 for the first quarter of 2009. The Germany-based gene synthesis firm, which is in the process of being sold to Life Technologies, expects its 2010 sales to be between €18.5 million and €19.5 million.

Sigma-Aldrich's SAFC unit will spend $6.25 million to expand its Lenexa, Kan., facilities, the firm said this week. The expansion will create a global "center of excellence," which will produce dry powder media and reagents. The expansion also is supported by a $250,000 economic development grant from the Kansas Bioscience Authority.

DNAStar and its sister company Scarab Genomics said this week that they have launched next-generation DNA and RNA sequencing services. Those services include library preparation, selecting an appropriate sequencing technology and platform, assembly, analysis, annotation, and visualization of end results.

Knome has launched the KnomeDiscovery Research Awards Program, under which it will provide exome sequencing and interpretation services to three winning research groups, each of which will study a pair of exomes to answer "a compelling biological question," the firm said this week. Researchers can submit proposals through Knome's website before June 15, with winners announced on June 30. Knome founder George Church is on the panel of scientific advisors that will judge the proposals.

Dotmatics said this week that drug firm Cephalon will use its data querying and visualization solutions across its medicinal chemistry division.

Washington University's Bernard Becker Medical Library has purchased a subscription to OpenHelix, providing its faculty, students, and staff with access to more than 90 tutorial suites on bioinformatics and genomic resources.

The Scan

Study Finds Few FDA Post-Market Regulatory Actions Backed by Research, Public Assessments

A Yale University-led team examines in The BMJ safety signals from the US FDA Adverse Event Reporting System and whether they led to regulatory action.

Duke University Team Develops Programmable RNA Tool for Cell Editing

Researchers have developed an RNA-based editing tool that can target specific cells, as they describe in Nature.

Novel Gene Editing Approach for Treating Cystic Fibrosis

Researchers in Science Advances report on their development of a non-nuclease-based gene editing approach they hope to apply to treat cystic fibrosis.

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.