Rheonix

The CDC says that the number of people in the US who have been infected with diseases carried by mosquitoes, ticks, and flea bites have more than tripled in recent years.

The researchers built a combination nucleic acid-antibody test for the disease using an approach they said could be generally useful for rapid test development.

Rheonix has won an administrative supplement to an existing SBIR grant to develop the Zika test using its CARD cartridge and Encompass Optimum platform.

The firm's dual assay for host antigen to HIV as well as viral RNA was described in a proof-of-principle study earlier this year. 

Rheonix Raises $28.6M

The Ithaca, New York-based firm will use the financing to ramp up commercialization of its molecular diagnostic testing platforms.

The firm is aiming at in vitro diagnostics, applied markets, and next-generation sequencing sample preparation.

The Phase II grant will provide the company with funding to develop a commercial-ready version of the test.

The fully automated self-confirming assay will simultaneously detect HIV/AIDS antibodies and viral RNA in a single specimen.

HandyLab has been awarded

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An Australian-led team has generated a draft genome assembly of the invasive cane toad in hopes it will help in population control, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The New York Times reports that the US Department of Defense has implemented about half the recommendations made to improve safe handling of dangerous agents.

In PLOS this week: approach for teasing out archaic introgression in human genomes, immune transcription features in HCV infection, and more.

Stat News reports that Maryland is promoting itself to the biotech industry with a mobile billboard.