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Perlegen Sciences and GlaxoSmithKline, Johns Hopkins University and University of Chicago, Baylor College, PerkinElmer, and Gene Networks International and Toyama Chemical


Perlegen and GlaxoSmithKline Enter New Pharmacogenomics Collaboration

Perlegen Sciences said this week that it will commense a high-density whole-genome scanning project with GlaxoSmithKline for the purpose of determining genetic variants linked with a specific trait of interest to GSK. This is the second such collaboration between the companies, the company added.

GSK and Perlegen inked a similar agreement in September 2002. That project differed from the current collaboration in the specific trait of interest, said Paul Cusenza, Perlegen vice president of alliance management.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hopkins, University of Chicago Begin Autism Genotyping Study

Researchers led by Johns Hopkins University and the University of Chicago have won a three-year, $3.2 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to study the genetics of autism, Hopkins said this week.

Using Affymetrix microarrays, the scientists plan to study SNPs at 500,000 locations in samples from 465 affected families, including 979 individuals with autism. The samples are provided by the Autism Genetics Initiative Data Archive and the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange.

In addition, the researchers plan to look for genes that are present in extra copies, using digital karyotyping, a technique that will search for additional copies of about 400,000 short stretches of DNA.

Baylor College Wins $4.5M from NIH to Study Genetics of Epilepsy

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have received $4.5 million from the NIH to study the genetics of epilepsy, Baylor College said last month.

The scientists, led by Jeffrey Noebels, plan to profile the sequences of 250 ion-channel genes in patients with various forms of epilepsy in order to find mutations that contribute to the disease. The “Human Channelopathy Project” involves researchers at the departments of neurology, as well as molecular and human genetics, and the Human Genome Center at Baylor.

Mutations in ion-channel genes underlie a number of neurological disorders, for example epilepsy, episodic-movement disorders, and cardiac arrhythmias. The study will focus on sporadic cases, where no family history is known.

PerkinElmer Cuts 35 Jobs

PerkinElmer has recently laid off about 35 employees from its Torrance, Calif.-based facility.

“As part of a previously announced closure plan, and overall strategic/operational plan to form an automation and liquid handling center of excellence for its life and analytical sciences segment, PerkinElmer has completed the transfer of its Torrance ... operations to its Downers Grove, [Ill.],” Dan Sutherby, vice president of investor relations and communications, told GenomeWeb News, PGx Reporter’s sister publication, in an e-mail.

“This will enable a more focused approach towards developing market-driven and integrated liquid handling, sample preparation, and automation solutions for customers in the pharmaceutical, biotech, and academic research markets,” he added.

GNI to Use Gene Regulatory Network Techology in deal with Toyama Chemical

Gene Networks International will provide its gene regulatory network technology platform to Toyama Chemical, the company said this week.

GNI, which has offices in Kurume, Japan, and Cambridge, UK, has licensed the use of the technology to Toyama and will provide the company with gene expression data and discovery services.

GNI’s gene regulatory network maps are based on research at the University of Cambridge, Kyushu University, and the University of Tokyo.


Filed under

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.