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Accelrys, Becton Dickinson, Helicos, Translational Genomics Research Institute, Arizona State University, Obsidian Strategics, Sun Microsystems, IDBS, PharmaLegacy Laboratories

Accelrys Says OEM Software Product with BD To Launch Next Year
Accelrys said this week that a combined product that will integrate its SciTegic Enterprise Server with Becton Dickinson’s AttoVision software for high-content screening will launch in the middle of 2009.
Accelrys officials disclosed the OEM deal in late October during the company's quarterly earnings call [BioInform 10-31-08].
BD launched version 1.6 of AttoVision in May of this year. It is licensed with BD Pathway bioimaging instruments, which are used in high-content analysis of live and fixed cells.
Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
By using Accelrys' SES, the companies said that the integrated system will improve the analysis, categorization, storage, and reporting of images and data generated on Becton Dickinson's High Content Screening instrumentation. 
"This agreement marks the expansion of our product into the high content-screening marketplace and is consistent with our overall strategy to build a network of OEM relationships and broaden our distribution channels," Mark Emkjer, president and CEO of Accelrys, said in a statement this week.

Helicos Launches Microbial Genome Data Web Site
Helicos has launched the HeliSphere Technology Center, a web site to share Helicos data sets and bioinformatics software tools with the research community.  
The site contains single-molecule sequence reads from whole-genome resequencing and digital gene expression runs using the Helicos Genetic Analysis System.
The first sample datasets released include whole genome sequences of the microbes Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Rhodobacter sphaeroides, sequenced with consensus accuracies greater than 99.99 percent.
Data from a number of sequencing projects currently underway will be posted on the HeliSphere Technology Center Web site on a regular basis, the company said.
In addition to Helicos data sets, the new site will also be a gateway to open-source software by the company, feature an open-bug tracking system, and will let developers submit patches.
Source code can be licensed through the open source GPL license for general use and through a commercial license for corporate partners, but Helicos did not offer further financial details. Passwords to access this web site are “available to qualified scientists upon request,” the company said in a statement.

TGen Seeks to Set up Dark Fiber Computer Connection to ASU
The Translational Genomics Research Institute and Arizona State University said this week that they are looking to cut bottlenecks in data transfer by establishing a high-speed link between their sites using technology by Obsidian Strategics of Edmonton, Alberta, a defense-intelligence contractor.
Data would be sent through so-called dark fiber, or unused fiber optic cables, installed years ago throughout the nation in anticipation of future growth in data transfer.
According to a statement, TGen said it can take as much as 12 days using conventional cables to transmit 7 terabytes of information from a typical experiment 10 miles between TGen's downtown Phoenix labs and ASU's new Saguaro 2 supercomputer in Tempe.
The partnership between ASU and Obsidian Strategics will allow the same volume of data to be transmitted in as little as an hour.
The high-speed link will particularly apply to the data generated by second-generation sequencers, Dan Stanzione, director of the High Performance Computing Initiative at ASU's Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering, said in a statement.
The proposed system using Obsidian Strategics technology is expected to hit 8,000 gigabytes per hour, or about 8 terabytes, Stanzione said.
TGen spokesperson Steve Yozwiak told BioInform that ASU is still is looking for a partner who owns the fiber to lease or perhaps donate the fiber optic cable that would make up the dark-fiber link between ASU and TGen.
"The proposed high-speed data communication link, using Obsidian's network, will significantly reduce the time it takes to run complex data analyses and systems simulations on TGen's supercomputer systems,” Edward Suh, TGen's CIO said in a statement.
Obsidian Strategics develops InfiniBand range extension, routing, and encryption technology. ASU and Obsidian will join with others in a venture supported by the Canadian Consulate in Phoenix to advance the capabilities of the optical network, linking higher education facilities in Arizona, as well as in adjacent states.
According to a statement, Obsidian's Longbow technology leverages existing optical networks, and was originally designed to meet the demands of the US Department of Defense's next generation large data communications architecture.

Sun IT Infrastructure to be Deployed for Ontario Cancer Biomarker Network
Sun Microsystems said that the Ontario Cancer Biomarker Network is using a range of Sun technologies, including the Sun Constellation System, Solaris 10 Operating System, and Sun CoolThreads servers.
Sun said that OCBN is working with the High Performance Computing Virtual Laboratory at Queen's University to add bioinformatics capabilities to HPCVL's compute cluster, which includes Sun SPARC Enterprise T5140 servers with multi-core UltraSPARC T2 processors.
OCBN is a non-profit that was established in 2005 with a grant from the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation for the purpose of advancing biomarker research.
Financial terms of the agreement with Sun were not provided.

Shanghai Pharma Services Provider to Use IDBS' Software
IDBS said that the Chinese contract research organization PharmaLegacy Laboratories will use its E-Workbook Suite to handle information for its pharmacology services.
Shanghai-based PharmaLegacy will use the company’s preclinical data management suite, including the BioBook biology extension software.
IDBS said the E-WorkBook suite will help the drug developer to “increase client productivity and the pace of drug development by providing effective management and analysis of complex research data.”
PharmaLegacy’s VP of Corporate Planning, Tom Tillotson, said in a statement that BioBook will enable the CRO to “develop long-term partnerships with biotechnology and pharmaceutical clients.”
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

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