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DNA Medicine Institute Wins NASA Grant for Space Dx

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The DNA Medicine Institute has won a Small Business Innovation Research contract worth $600,000 over two years from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to develop nanoscale diagnostic assays for analyzing health from blood samples.

The for-profit firm, which bases its products on nanotechnology, genomics, and molecular biology among others, will use the Phase II funding to develop assays for assessment of bone loss, immune function, cardiac health, liver function, and lipid status.

The aim of such a platform is to make hospital tests that currently are done with machines and with trained personnel, available under any scenario, including in space, in-flight environments, and in other field settings where gathering medical information is not easily accessible, the company said.

"We are pleased to work with NASA in developing technologies for monitoring crew health during space flight, including journeys to the space station and other manned space missions," DNA Medicine Institute President and CSO Eugene Chan said in a statement.

Chan explained that the funding "will allow us to develop innovations for diagnosing medical conditions in unique environments with minimal amounts of blood and reagents."

The DNA Medicine Institute had previously received a NASA SBIR grant in 2008 for Phase I of this project, during which it met milestones for developing the necessary nanoscale diagnostic technologies.

The Scan

For Better Odds

Bloomberg reports that a child has been born following polygenic risk score screening as an embryo.

Booster Decision Expected

The New York Times reports the US Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine this week for individuals over 65 or at high risk.

Snipping HIV Out

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Temple University researchers are to test a gene-editing approach for treating HIV.

PLOS Papers on Cancer Risk Scores, Typhoid Fever in Colombia, Streptococcus Protection

In PLOS this week: application of cancer polygenic risk scores across ancestries, genetic diversity of typhoid fever-causing Salmonella, and more.