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TGen, National Institute of Genomic Medicine, CombiMatrix, Duke

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TGen, Startup Mexican Genomics Institute to Form Collaboration

The Translational Genomics Research Institute and a number of US-based universities last week met with Mexico’s National Institute of Genomic Medicine in an attempt to create a “cooperative research initiative.”

The meeting, which was held at TGen’s offices in Phoenix, focused on outlining both institutes’ goals and programs, the groups said. Additional meetings will likely develop specific cooperative projects, especially research aimed at diabetes and cancer.

“By sharing expertise, we hope to make significant strides in addressing a number of health issues faced by both countries while recognizing that from a genomic medicine standpoint, both populations are unique,” TGen President Jeffrey Trent said in a statement.

Gerardo Jiménez-Sánchez, director of INMEGEN, wrote in this month’s Science that “genomic medicine in Mexico needs to be based on the genetic structure and health demands of the Mexican population, rather than importing applications developed for other populations.” INMEGEN is being set up in Cuernavaca.

Also at the meeting were representatives from the Mayo Clinic, Arizona State University, and the University of Arizona.


CombiMatrix to Provide its SARS Arrays Free to Select Governments, Academia

Acacia Research’s CombiMatrix division will make its new severe acute respiratory syndrome microarrays available to “key government and academic researchers,” the company said this week.

“Due to the public health and economic implications of SARS, we have decided to offer a limited number of SARS microarrays at no cost to key research centers,” said Amit Kumar, president and CEO of CombiMatrix.

CombiMatrix last week said it had created the microarrays less than 48 hours after US and Canadian researchers sequenced the genome of the coronavirus. CombiMatrix scientists were able to use the SARS sequence data and applied the company’s informatics systems to develop probes, and then manufacture the chips, the firm said.

It was not immediately clear which government or academic researchers are considered “key.”


Duke Opens $41 Million Human Genetics Center

Duke University has officially opened its $41 million Center for Human Genetics yesterday, the university’s student newspaper reported.

The center, located in a 120,000 square-foot Genome Sciences Research Building 1, is the first completed node of the university’s new $270 million, five-center Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy.

To shed light on the genetic origin of diseases including Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and other neurological disorders, the center will use molecular analyses and statistical genetics. It will apply genomics to other more common multigenic-influenced diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, glaucoma, osteoarthritis, mental illness, and cancers.

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