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In Brief This Week: TGen; BD Biosciences; Signature Genomics Laboratories

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - A new breast health center that has opened in Phoenix will include a tumor biorepository for researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute.

The new 9,000-suare-foot Breast Health and Research Center will open next to the John C. Lincoln Deer Valley Hospital. TGen plans to help the non-profit center discover new ways to diagnose and treat breast cancer, it said this week.

BD Biosciences this week announced that it is expanding its research grant programs to provide a total of $140,000 worth of research reagents to 14 scientists over the next 12 months. It said that an independent panel would review the applications from US scientists, and awards will be made in two cycles: first in October 2009, and then in May 2010. It said that research areas should focus on one of seven core areas including stem cell, multicolor flow cytometry, cell signaling, cancer, immune function, infectious diseases, and neurosciences.

The firm recently announced the four winners of the annual research grant program including Li Chai, of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School; Rebekah Gundry of the Johns Hopkins University; Cigall Kadoch of the University of California, San Francisco; and Joseph Larkin of the University of Florida.

Signature Genomics Laboratories said that a study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Medical Genetics by the company's researchers showed that microarray-based testing can identify a rare genetic disorder using DNA from blood rather than the more invasive skin biopsy that is routinely used.

The geneticists said that the method was able to identify patients with Pallister-Killian syndrome, a rare genetic disorder from blood samples. They suggested that microarray analysis can better detect chromosomal abnormalities that are not present in every cell because the method does not require cultured cells for analysis.

The Scan

Panel Recommends Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine for Kids

CNN reports that the US Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has voted in favor of authorizing the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between 5 and 11 years old.

Sharing How to Make It

Merck had granted a royalty-free license for its COVID-19 treatment to the Medicines Patent Pool, according to the New York Times.

Bring it Back In

Bloomberg reports that a genetic analysis has tied a cluster of melioidosis cases in the US to a now-recalled aromatherapy spray.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on SomaMutDB, VThunter, SCovid Databases

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: database of somatic mutations in normal tissue, viral receptor-related expression signatures, and more.