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In Brief This Week: RUCDR Infinite Biologics; Expression Analysis/Quintiles, Illumina; Thermo Fisher; Analytik Jena; Appistry; Acobiom; Genoway

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – RUCDR Infinite Biologics said this week it received CLIA certification. The unit of Rutgers' Human Genetics Institute of New Jersey also received a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Services license from New Jersey. RUCDR, which calls itself the world's largest university-based biorepository, said it plans to provide clinical-grade diagnostics for a range of diseases, and will use genetic and genomic technologies to develop tests for diagnosing and managing several types of cancers.


Expression Analysis/Quintiles and Illumina announced the 2014 Oncology Research Grant Program. Two winners will be chosen to receive services from the sponsors to advance new applications in genomics research. Each grant winner will have up to 96 samples processed on applications, including DNA methylation and RNA-Seq. Submissions are due Aug. 29.


Thermo Fisher Scientific's board has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.15 per share payable on Oct. 15 to shareholders of record on Sept. 15.


Analytik Jena completed the merger of its subsidiary CyBio, which has been dissolved as an independent company. CyBio provided liquid handling and laboratory automation technology for global drug discovery and to biotech firms. Analytik Jena will continue providing those products under the CyBio name. All CyBio employees were retained by Analytik Jena, which announced the merger in April. Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.


Appistry launched its inaugural Appistry Pipeline Challenge, which will award $70,000 of software and hardware to help one team develop and execute a next-generation sequencing analysis pipeline. US-based researchers are eligible for the award. The deadline is Aug. 15. The prize includes a one-year license to commercial versions of NGS analysis tools from the Broad Institute, including the Genome Analysis Toolkit, MuTect, ContEst, and Somatic Indel Detector, as well as Appistry's Ayrris On Ramp Program for NGS analysis, preconfigured analysis tools and starter pipelines, and eight hours of training from Appistry.


Skuldtech has changed its name to Acobiom. The French firm was founded in 1999 and the name change comes as it shifts its focus to personalized medicine from genomic and transcriptomic biomarker discovery and diagnostics development.


Genoway, a developer of genetically modified animal models, has been granted a license to provide conditional knockout models developed by the European Conditional Mouse Metagenesis Program, and its successor program, EUCOMM: Tools for functional annotation of the mouse genome. Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed. The EUCOMM project was funded by the European Union Sixth Framework Program, and EUCOMMTOOLS was funded by the Seventh Framework Program. It will generate, distribute, and archive up to 11,500 conditional targeted knockout mouse models with mutations across the mouse genome.


In Brief This Week is a Friday column containing news items that our readers may have missed during the week.

The Scan

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

US Survey Data Suggests Ancestry Testing Leads Way in Awareness, Use of Genetic Testing Awareness

Although roughly three-quarters of surveyed individuals in a Genetics in Medicine study reported awareness of genetic testing, use of such tests was lower and varied with income, ancestry, and disease history.

Coral Genome Leads to Alternative Amino Acid Pathway Found in Other Non-Model Animals

An alternative cysteine biosynthesis pathway unearthed in the Acropora loripes genome subsequently turned up in sequences from non-mammalian, -nematode, or -arthropod animals, researchers report in Science Advances.

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.