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NCI's caBIG Launches Compatibility Certification Program for Commercial Partners

The National Cancer Institute's Cancer Biomedical Grid program has launched a program that will allow commercial informatics firms to certify that their products are compliant with caBIG compatibility guidelines.

Currently, only software systems funded by caBIG have been formally reviewed for compatibility. However, according to a notice posted on the caBIG listserv this week, the National Cancer Institute Center for Bioinformatics has partnered with the NCI Technology Transfer Branch to create the caBIG Bronze Compatibility Certification Program, which is targeted to commercial partners.

Products that successfully complete the Bronze compatibility review will be licensed to use the caBIG trademark, NCI said.

The Bronze Compatibility Certification process is a "verified self test," according to the notice, in which "developers review the compatibility guidelines and guidance and submit a set of defined artifacts that demonstrate that their software system meets the requirements." The NCICB then reviews these materials to verify compliance.

Further details are available at, and the caBIG compatibility guidelines are available at:

Erasmus Medical Center Uses SGI System for Data Visualization

Erasmus Medical Center said this week that it has added server and visualization systems from Silicon Graphics to its hospital and research facility in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

The new SGI systems will be used to support I-space, an immersive, interactive environment developed at Erasmus Medical Center that runs software designed to convert 2D medical images into 3D. The center is using the system for genomic and proteomic data mining, as well as for visualizing MRI scans, CT scans, and ultrasound images.

The prototype I-space system runs on a Silicon Graphics Prism visualization system with 8 Intel Itanium 2 processors, 8 ATI FireGL graphics processors, and 12 GB of memory. The medical center also runs a 32-processor SGI Origin 3800 server.

Financial terms of the deal with SGI were not disclosed.

Crosslinks, a spin off of Erasmus Medical Center, will market the I-space technology to other research organizations.

Pfizer Deploys IDBS BioBook

IDBS said this week that Pfizer Global R&D has licensed its BioBook electronic experiment and study-management software.

Pfizer will deploy BioBook across its global research organization, including discovery biology, safety sciences, pharmacokinetics dynamics and metabolism, and secondary and safety pharmacology, IDBS said.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

InforSense and GeneGo Integrate Software

InforSense said this week that GeneGo has joined its Open Workflow Partner Network.

InforSense said that its KDE platform has already been integrated with GeneGo's MetaCore, and the companies are in the process of integrating KDE with GeneGo's MetaDrug and MetaBase.

"The integration of pathway analysis with InforSense KDE is a key component of our multidisciplinary analytics platform for systems biology," said Jonathan Sheldon, InforSense CSO.

The agreement follows InforSense's announcement last week that proteomics software firm Matrix Science had joined its Open Workflow Partner Network [BioInform 04-07-06].

Asuragen to Provide Ingenuity Systems' IPA to Service Customers

Asuragen will provide the Ingenuity Pathway Analysis software to its molecular diagnostics service customers, Ingenuity Systems said this week.

Asuragen, a spin-off from Ambion, will provide version 3.0 of the software for mRNA expression profiling to customers of its services business.

The company, comprised of Ambion's former diagnostics and services division as well as a discovery group, focuses on microRNAs as cancer diagnostics.

Asuragen was formed after Applied Biosystems acquired Ambion's RNA business in March.

Serono Licenses Aureus Pharma's GPCR Database

Aureus Pharma said this week that Serono has licensed its AurScope GPCR database in a "multi-year" agreement.

Under the terms of the agreement, scientists at Serono's Pharmaceutical Research Institute in Geneva will have access to both the AurScope database and AurQuest, a web application designed to query the company's databases.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

India's Nicholas Piramal Research Center to Use LabVantage LIMS

The Nicholas Piramal Research Center in Goregaon, India, has implemented LabVantage's Sapphire laboratory information management system, the organizations said this week.

The NPRC is a healthcare research center that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Australian Government Gives $1.4M for New Bioinformatics Facility in Queensland

Researchers at the University of Queensland and e-Health Research Center in Australia have received a AUS$1.9 million ($1.4 million) state government grant to establish a bioinformatics facility, the university said this week.

The new Queensland Facility for Advanced Bioinformatics, headed by Mark Ragan from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience of the University of Queensland and Anthony Maeder from the e-Health Research Center, will provide universities, research institutions, and companies with bioinformatics tools. These will include access to databases, software, high-performance computing, terabyte storage, data-integration technologies, and expert services.

QFAB's initial partners, besides IMB and the e-Health Research Center, are the ARC Center of Bioinformatics and the ARC Special Research Center in Functional and Applied Genomics at the University of Queensland; Australian Partnership in Advanced Computing; Griffith University; Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries; Queensland Parallel Supercomputing Foundation; and Queensland University of Technology.

Oracle to Host Life Science User Group Meeting at Hinxton

Oracle is hosting a Life Sciences User Group Meeting at the Wellcome Trust Conference Center at the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus in Hinxton, UK, on June 13.

Further information on the meeting is available at:

Filed under

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.