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Tm Bioscience and Resurrection Medical Center, US National Science Foundation, Iconix Pharmaceuticals and Brigham and Women s Hospital, Tecan and Invitrogen, and Broad Institute and Affymetrix


Tm Bioscience Signs Supply deal with Resurrection Medical Center

Resurrection Medical Center will use Toronto, Canada-based Tm Bioscience’s Tag-It mutation detection tests to perform its genetic assays, Tm said this week in a statement.

Tm’s US-based sales force is now “well entrenched” with the larger labs and hospitals, said Greg Hines, president and CEO of Tm Bioscience. “We anticipate [Tm] will ultimately perform the majority of genetic testing as this industry matures,” he added.

NSF Awards Funding to 22 Plant Genome Research Projects Worldwide

The US National Science Foundation has made 22 awards to researchers from 56 institutions, as well as collaborators from 14 countries, as part of its Plant Genome Research Program, said the NSF in a press release.

Now in its seventh year, the PGRP hopes to expand knowledge about the biology of the plant kingdom, especially plants that people around the world rely on for food, clothing and other needs, said the statement.

The two- to five-year 2004 awards, which range from $700,000 to $6.6 million, will explore plant gene regulation and the genetics of plant development, metal tolerance, susceptibility to diseases and other economically important characteristics, said the statement.

The awards focus in three main areas: detailed analysis of key plant genomes and plant families; functional genomics; and databases and tools.

Among the winners are a Cornell University team involved in sequencing part of the tomato genome, a Indiana University group will study the genomes of the Compositeae, and a project at Pennsylvania State University that will study interactions between the rootstocks and scions of apple trees affecting disease resistance and growth.

Iconix Inks Biomarker Research Deal with Brigham and Women’s Hospital Researcher

Iconix Pharmaceuticals said this week that it has signed an agreement to work with Roderick Jensen, acting director of the biotechnology center and laboratory for functional genomics at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, on the study and validation of gene expression patterns in patients with neurological diseases.

According to Iconix, Jensen’s lab has developed a high-throughput validation strategy that uses multiple gene expression platforms to assay tissue samples. The partnership aims to validate gene expression changes in human peripheral blood for diagnostics, prognostics, and drug response. Jensen’s strategy, Iconix said, will be tested in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

In March, at the 43rd Annual Society of Toxicology Meeting in Baltimore, Md., Iconix said that it would publicly release a subset of its proprietary genomic biomarker data to researchers who agree to make their findings public.

Invitrogen and Tecan to Link Research Kits and Automation

Tecan and Invitrogen last week announced a non-exclusive collaboration to create products for use in sample preparation, microarrays, and cell-based assays.

The new product combinations will link Invitrogen’s research kits with Tecan’s laboratory automation products, multimode detection devices, and microarray systems. Both companies will market the combined products.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Broad Institute Agrees to Use Affymetrix GeneChip System in Three Large Studies

Affymetrix said this week that scientists at the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University will use the company’s GeneChip High Throughput system in upcoming studies featuring RNA expression analysis, SNP genotyping and DNA resequencing.

Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

The Broad Institute plans to use the GeneChip HT system to genotype more than 300,000 SNPs per individual for “thousands” of patient DNA samples, said Affymetrix in a statement. The RNA expression studies will result in “one of the largest gene expression databases” of “billions of data points” relating to disease and drug responses, and the DNA resequencing project will use Affy’s CustomSeq resequencing arrays to build knowledge of DNA sequence variation discovery in various diseases, such as cancer, the statement said.

Filed under

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.