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Ionian Technologies Gets Gates Funding for MDx Platform

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Ionian Technologies today said that it has received additional funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to continue developing a molecular diagnostics platform designed for use in the developing world.

The San Diego-based firm said that its total commitment from the Gates foundation has risen to $3 million over two years.

Ionian is using the funds to develop a platform based on its isothermal nucleic acid amplification (NEAR) technology. It intends to initially develop assays for the platform that will detect tuberculosis, Chlamydia, and gonorrhea.

The NEAR technology can detect either DNA or RNA from bacterial or viral pathogens with a five-minute amplification coupled with a simple and rapid detection by fluorescence or lateral-flow test strips. The firm claims that the NEAR amplification reaction matches the sensitivity and specificity performance of current nucleic acid technologies such as PCR, but in less time and with a less complicated handheld device.

The Scan

CDC Calls Delta "Variant of Concern"

CNN reports the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now considers the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 to be a "variant of concern."

From FDA to Venture Capital

Former FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn is taking a position at a venture capital firm, leading some ethicists to raise eyebrows, according to the Washington Post.

Consent Questions

Nature News writes that there are questions whether informed consent was obtained for some submissions to a database of Y-chromosome profiles.

Cell Studies on Multimodal Single-Cell Analysis, Coronaviruses in Bats, Urban Microbiomes

In Cell this week: approach to analyze multimodal single-cell genomic data, analysis of bat coronaviruses, and more.