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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

Call for a Different Tack

Experts weigh the value of recent experiments testing genetically modified pig kidneys using brain-dead individuals, according to Nature News.

Wastewater Warning

The New York Times reports that wastewater surveillance in some parts of the US point to a possible surge.

Can't Get in the Program

Due to the Northern Ireland protocol dispute, the European Union is preventing UK researchers from joining the Horizon Europe research program, the Times of London reports.

Science Paper on Spatial-Controlled Genome Editing

In Science this week: approach to enable a CRISPR-Cas13a-based system to be used as a cancer therapy.