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Akonni

Akonni will use the grant to evaluate lab-on-a-film microarray manufacturing and assembly methods.

The company, which has received a number of government grants in recent months, has raised $912,598 in the round so far.

The grants, awarded through the Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project Program created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, were disclosed last week by the IRS.

Akonni Biosystems is developing a microarray-based SNP test for identifying physical appearance characteristics based on DNA samples from victims or suspects.

Akonni is developing a microarray-based transportable, sample-to-answer system for identifying single nucleotide polymorphisms linked to a person's physical appearance.

A company official said that Akonni's technology, which combines the power of real-time PCR interrogation with microarray analysis, is well-suited to address the emergence of drug resistance and the need to interrogate a broader range of markers in infectious disease.

Akonni is developing a multi-drug resistant/extensively drug-resistant (MDR/XDR) genotyping testing technology for the point-of-care setting.

Frederick, Md.-based Akonni plans to use the funding to support the development of its prototype MDR-TB PCR TruArray by expanding test coverage, completing the manufacturing scale-up for future kits, and performing pre-clinical verification experiments.

The team hopes the one-year grant will help it develop a quick, affordable assay that will be deployed in public health laboratories for disease surveillance. The lab is developing the assay to run on a portable instrument from Akonni Biosystems.

In addition, Akonni is developing tests based on the biochip technology for a number of other infectious agents, and is designing and testing an integrated instrument platform to perform the tests, with the ultimate goal of seeking US regulatory clearance.

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The Atlantic looks into time spent pursuing gene leads generated through candidate gene studies.

A twin study uncovers evidence that genes may influence whether someone gets a dog, Martha Stewart reports.

In PNAS this week: Cdx2 cells can help regenerate heart tissue in mice following a heart attack, PIWI-interacting small RNA levels in human cancer, and more.