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Agilent, Rosetta, Howard University, Elsevier, Taiwan

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Agilent, Rosetta to Support Research Centers in Netherlands, France

Agilent Technologies and Rosetta Biosoftware last week announced two agreements with European research centers for the Rosetta Resolver enterprise-wide gene expression analysis platform, which the two firms jointly market.

In the Netherlands, the Stichting Netherlands Bioinformatics Center obtained a license to provide access to the system through the BioASP portal it launched in December [BioInform 12-02-02]. At least 10 academic research labs in the country currently access bioinformatics tools via BioASP, according to NBIC.

In addition, France’s largest cancer research center, the Institut Gustave-Roussy, plans to provide gene expression research services for the European scientific community using Rosetta Resolver in combination with Agilent’s microarray platform.

 

Howard U, FGT Team on Biobank for Persons of African Descent

Howard University’s College of Medicine last week said it was partnering with First Genetic Trust to develop the GRAD (Genomic Research in the African Diaspora) Biobank, a resource for genomics and clinical research in individuals of African descent.

The biobank “will provide an infrastructure that will enable Howard University and the research community to conduct urgently needed research on health issues that greatly affect the well-being of people of African descent,” said Floyd Malveaux, dean of HUCM.

The project will enroll around 25,000 individuals of African descent over a five-year period, who will provide associated biosamples, medical history, and genetic data, across diseases of significant importance. FGT’s web-enabled enTrust genetic banking system will store and manage the information.

 

Elsevier Launches Life Science Division with MDL’s Help

Scientific publisher Elsevier announced last week that with the cooperation of its software subsidiary MDL Information Systems, it would create a new division focused on the life sciences.

The new division will include MDL as well as Elsevier’s 400 chemistry and life science journals and related products, such as Cell, Neuron, Journal of Molecular Biology, and Tetrahedron Letters.

The company expects annual revenues for the new division to be more than $500 million.

The Life Sciences division will be led by Martin Tanke, a 20-year Elsevier veteran, who most recently served as managing director of global engineering and chemistry at the company.

MDL has also appointed a replacement for CEO Pat Rougeau, who had previously announced her intention to leave her position effective June 30, 2003. Bernard Aleva, most recently CEO of Elsevier Engineering Information, will now serve as CEO of MDL.

 

Taiwan Plugs into Grid to Tackle SARS

Grid technology helped SARS researchers in Taiwan continue their work despite quarantines imposed by the epidemic, according to PRAGMA (the Pacific Rim Applications and Grid Middleware Assembly), an international collaboration that supports the Access Grid infrastructure throughout the Pacific Region.

On May 15, Fang-Pang Lin, director of the Grid Computing Division of Taiwan’s National Center for High-Performance Computing, sent an e-mail to Peter Arzberger, director of the Life Sciences Initiative at the University of California, San Diego, and co-founder and chair of PRAGMA’s Steering Committee, describing “how the suddenness and severity of the outbreak were overwhelming the local health infrastructure.” Lin was concerned that the quarantines were preventing physicians and specialists from consulting with doctors at other institutions.

By May 19, three Access Grid teleconferencing nodes were set up inside and outside of quarantined areas, serving as a SARS Grid to enable physicians to communicate with one another and share X-rays, diagnoses, and treatment methods.

Computing centers from around the world have participated in the project, according to PRAGMA, including the Computer Network Information Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Korea Institute for Science and Technology Information, Indiana University, the San Diego Supercomputing Center, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, Queensland University of Technology, and Argonne National Laboratory.

PRAGMA members will meet in Melbourne, Australia, on June 5-6 to review remaining technical issues and discuss procedures for expanding the Access Grid to other Pacific Rim institutions.

Further information on the SARS Grid is available at http://sarsgrid.nchc.gov.tw/.

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