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Snippets: Mar 25, 2009

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Agilent Grants Tools to Michigan Prostate Study

Agilent Technologies said last week that it has granted instruments and given funding to the University of Michigan for its prostate cancer research programs.

Under the grant, Agilent is contributing a 1200 Series liquid chromatography system, and a 1200 Series Rapid Resolution LC system coupled to a 6530 Accurate Mass quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer to the school's Center for Translational Pathology. The company did not disclose how much funding it granted to the school under the agreement.

The researchers will use the LC system to separate metabolites from human plasma and the Q-TOF for identifying those metabolites.

"We will focus our laboratory research on a systems-biology approach to try to understand the disease at the biochemical and genetic levels simultaneously," said Christopher Beecher, who is professor of pathology at the U-M Medical School. "We expect to be able to make a number of discoveries in prostate cancer and to develop new techniques that will be useful universally."

The collaboration was developed through Agilent's University Relations Program.

The researchers have "already revealed metabolomic profiles of prostate cancer progression by looking at 1,126 metabolites across 262 samples of tissue, blood, or urine," and the lab currently is studying how prostate tumors spread, said Agilent.


CPGR, SimuGen Enter Into Biomarker Assay Pact

South Africa's Centre for Proteomic and Genomic Research last week said that it has entered into an agreement with SimuGen to develop biomarker assays for the prediction of toxicity of existing and new drug compounds.

SimuGen is a Malaysia-based pharmacogenomics firm working on novel dose-toxicity models for drug development customers.

"The work we will do with Simugen, aimed at improving the ability to develop novel, safe drugs, fits perfectly into our vision of creating cutting-edge ex vivo drug screening workflows that make full use of our genomic and proteomic platforms," Reinhard Hiller, managing director of CPGR, said in a statement.

CPGR was founded in 2006 as a non-profit organization to provide South African scientists with analytical services, project support, and collaborative research capabilities in the genomics and proteomics fields. The organization has a particular interest in translational research and has branched out into molecular diagnostics and drug discovery.

Terms of the collaboration with SimuGen were not disclosed.

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.