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In Brief This Week: Gene Biodesign; Roche; Jackson Lab; Shrink Nanotechnologies; Corning; Mediomics; Ontario Genomics Institute; Expression Analysis; BloodCenter of Wisconsin's Diagnostic Laboratories; KTH Royal Institute of Technology; and More

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Taiwanese genomics service provider Gene Biodesign Enterprises has become a Roche Nimblegen Certified Service Provider. As a result, Gene Biodesign is certified to process customer samples for Nimblegen array applications, such as comparative genomic hybridization, chromatin immunoprecipitation-on-chip; DNA methylation, and gene expression.

Maine Gov. John Baldacci announced a $900,000 grant from the Maine Technology Asset Fund to the Jackson Laboratory for new instrument installations and the implementation of new workflow management improvements. Jackson Lab, which is providing $1.1 million in matching funds, said it will use the money for process improvements in the genotyping laboratory and for outfitting a newly designed mouse facility to meet the growing global demand for genetically engineered mice.

Shrink Nanotechnologies has entered into a licensing agreement for Corning's modular microfluidic system, which Shrink said is the world's first fully functional plug-and-play system that allows for integrated high PSI connectors, electronics, and pumps. The deal is for eight years. In exchange for commercial royalty, Shrink, based in Carlsbad, Calif., retains the exclusive right to use and sublicense the technology, which is applicable to biomedical, cell-based drug discovery work, and biochemical work.

St. Louis, biotech firm Mediomics has been awarded a $185,000 Phase 1 SBIR grant from the National Cancer Institute to develop a hand-held biosensor and protein assay reagents for in-process analysis of biologics production. The reagents are based on its Pincer technology. The project will culminate with beta testing by a third-party manufacturer collaborator.

The Ontario Genomics Institute has made an investment of an undisclosed amount into start-up InDanio Bioscience, which is developing a novel screening system for the complete human nuclear hormone receptor family. InDanio's technology uses fluorescent tags attached to copies of human genes in living zebrafish embryos to identify and localize functioning individual NRs.

Expression Analysis has added single-lane sequencing with guaranteed turnaround times to its services menu. The new service will be offered on the Illumina GA II platform and include shotgun sequencing, ChIP Seq, MRNA Seq, and small RNA Seq.

The BloodCenter of Wisconsin's Diagnostic Laboratories said it has built one of the largest genotype databases in the nation. Using its high-throughput technology, it was able to screen more than 25,000 donors in nine weeks and is screening repeat blood donors to create a database of rare and uncommon donors. It also announced a donor screening service designed to reduce costs associated with identifying red blood cell antigens is available.

The KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden is using Scottish firm Arrayjet's Marathon Inkjet Microarrayer for its Protein Array Technologies Group. The group will also serves as an Arrayjet reference site and forms part of Matthias Uhlén's Human Protein Atlas project.

Madison, Wis-based Biosystem Development has completed a financing round that raised $978,000, which will be used to expand manufacturing infrastructure and to launch new products into the biopharmaceutical development market, including new products based on the company's AssayMap high-throughput micro-chromatography platform.

Canadian technology commercialization agent Mars Innovation has provided C$500,000 ($494,000) to start-up chip-based molecular diagnostics firm Xagenic. The company also has a C$300,000 loan from the Health Technology Exchange; C$200,000 from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research; and C$40,000 from the Ontario Centre of Excellence Centre for Commercialization of Research, bringing the amount in new working capital to C$1.04 million.

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.