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In Brief This Week: Illumina; Agilent; Integrated DNA Technologies; Hybrigenics; Monogram Biosciences; UTEP

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Illumina earlier this week said that it had delivered the first genome through its individual genome sequencing service. The first customer was Hermann Hauser, a partner in Amadeus Capital Partners.

Illumina said that it generated more than 110 gigabases of data, sequencing the genome to more than 30-fold coverage, at its CLIA-certified laboratory, which is also accredited by the College of American Pathologists, using its Genome Analyzer technology.

The company launched its $48,000 personal genome sequencing service, which it offers through physicians, in June

Agilent Technologies said this week that it had split its Life Science and Chemical Analysis Group into two separate businesses.

As part of the split, Mike McMullen was promoted to senior vice president of Agilent and president of the Chemical Analysis Group. Nick Roelofs was promoted to Agilent SVP and president of the Life Sciences Group. Each had previously been vice president and general manager of his respective unit.

Integrated DNA Technologies this week said that it had received $99,750 in stimulus funding from the National Institutes of Health to fund continuing research on gene silencing with U1 adapter oligonucleotides.

Hybrigenics has signed a 3-year research services agreement worth $2.1 million with an undisclosed multinational life sciences company. The firm said earlier this week that under the agreement it will build specific cDNA libraries from the living organisms of interest to the client company, perform yeast two-hybrid screens on demand, and compile exclusive bioinformatics databases of newly identified protein interactions. The results will be visualized with Hybrigenics' bioinformatics tools, such as its PIM-Rider software.

Researchers from Monogram Biosciences, Theraclone Sciences, The Scripps Research Institute and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative have collaborated to discover two new antibodies to HIV that they believe may be used to design an AIDS vaccine. The researchers describe their findings of the of the PG9 and PG16 antibodies in the journal Science this week.

As part of the research, Monogram screened sera from more than 1,800 HIV-infected volunteers for broadly neutralizing activity. The antibodies were detected using Monogram's micro-neutralization assay, a new, specialized test that the firm believes will open up opportunities to screen additional donor samples for similar antibodies.

The University of Texas El Paso has opened its $45 million, 140,000-square-foot Bioscience Research Building. The new facility includes equipment for performing genomic and cell-based image analysis applications. It also houses the Border Biomedical Research Center, which is supported by the Research Centers in Minority Institutions program of the National Institutes of Health.

The Scan

Cell Signaling Pathway Identified as Metastasis Suppressor

A new study in Nature homes in on the STING pathway as a suppressor of metastasis in a mouse model of lung cancer.

Using Bees to Gain Insights into Urban Microbiomes

As bees buzz around, they pick up debris that provides insight into the metagenome of their surroundings, researchers report in Environmental Microbiome.

Age, Genetic Risk Tied to Blood Lipid Changes in New Study

A study appearing in JAMA Network Open suggests strategies to address high lipid levels should focus on individuals with high genetic risk and at specific ages.

Study Examines Insights Gained by Adjunct Trio RNA Sequencing in Complex Pediatric Disease Cases

Researchers in AJHG explore the diagnostic utility of adding parent-child RNA-seq to genome sequencing in dozens of families with complex, undiagnosed genetic disease.