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A Microsoft official said that bioinformatics vendors should not see the software giant's entry in the market as a threat, but an opportunity to focus on their "specialized functionality for the science" and "let Microsoft focus on the infrastructure."

The Microsoft Biology Foundation includes parsers for common bioinformatics file formats; various algorithms for manipulating DNA, RNA, and protein sequences; and a set of connectors to key bioinformatics web services such as the National Center for Biotechnology Information's Blast.

The new employees will be critical for a contract Ceiba recently signed with Merck that made it the sole provider of software maintenance and support for Rosetta Biosoftware products. The company also plans to develop its own bioinformatics products in the area of translational research.

The Bangalore software firm will partner with the Microsoft biomedical information technology alliance.

By year's end, NuGen plans to launch an RNA-seq sample-preparation kit that allows users to start with less material, and plans to add "many more products for NGS in the near future."

Paired Ends: Oct 13, 2009

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Christopher Raymond, Dennis Ausiello, David Baltimore, Eli Broad, Drew Gilpin Faust, Jeffrey Flier, Susan Hockfield, Seth Klarman, Eric Lander, William Lee, Arthur Levinson, Phillip Sharp, Patty Stonesifer, Ratan Tata, Diana Chapman Walsh

IP Roundup: Oct 6, 2009

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Nanogen, Universitat Konstanz, the University of Chicago, PerkinElmer, Microsoft, Yeda Research and Development

The agreement includes Merck's gene expression lab and five years of genomics services worth $145 million.

IP Roundup: Aug 4, 2009

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Northwestern University, Sierra Molecular, Rosetta Inpharmatics, OnChip Cellomics Consortium, Vanderbilt University, Enzo Life Sciences

IP Roundup: Jul 21, 2009

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University of Missouri, the United States of America, the State of Oregon, GE Healthcare, Combimatrix, CalTech, Amic, Rosetta Inpharmatics

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The Hastings Center's Erik Parens argues in a Scientific American opinion piece that the current pandemic underscores the need to reconsider the hope placed in genomic medicine. 

The Los Angeles Times writes that Operation Warp Speed has an ambitious timeline for developing a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Australia is launching its trial of preconception carrier testing Tuesday.

In PNAS this week: autosomal genes commonly affected by loss-of-function variants, variants implicated in testis development disorders, and more.