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Pairings: Oct 13, 2010

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Celera has announced the departure of its Senior VP and Chief Financial Officer Ugo DeBlasi in November. DeBlasi will leave following presentation of the firm's third-quarter financial report. The Alameda, Calif.-based firm said DeBlasi is leaving his position in order to be closer to his family in Connecticut.



Life Technologies
has appointed Paul Billings to step into the role of chief medical officer, a new position at the company that was created to develop ways to use genomics technologies, specifically next-generation sequencing tools, in clinical settings. He also will represent Life Technologies’ diagnostic products and technologies to physicians, payers, patients, and regulators.

Billings recently served as director and chief scientific officer at the Genomic Medicine Institute at El Camino Hospital, and he currently is a member of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society in the US Department of Health and Human Services, where he helps analyze and make recommendations on genomic medicine policy.

After a career in academics, Billings was a founder or CEO of companies including GeneSage, Omicia, and Cellective Dx, and he served as VP of corporate development at Laboratory Corporation of America.

The Scan

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

US Survey Data Suggests Ancestry Testing Leads Way in Awareness, Use of Genetic Testing Awareness

Although roughly three-quarters of surveyed individuals in a Genetics in Medicine study reported awareness of genetic testing, use of such tests was lower and varied with income, ancestry, and disease history.

Coral Genome Leads to Alternative Amino Acid Pathway Found in Other Non-Model Animals

An alternative cysteine biosynthesis pathway unearthed in the Acropora loripes genome subsequently turned up in sequences from non-mammalian, -nematode, or -arthropod animals, researchers report in Science Advances.

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.