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Electric Genetics, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, State University of New York, Sun Microsystems, SciTegic, Iberoamerican Network for Bioinformatics

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E-Genetics Funds Bioinformatics at UWC

South Africa’s Business Day news service reported last week that Electric Genetics has provided the University of the Western Cape’s department of science and biotechnology with funding of R1 million ($160,000) to upgrade its infrastructure and support training and development initiatives.

Electric Genetics, a UWC spin-out, has partnered with the university on technology development since 1997. The company has so far paid over R1.5 million in royalty payments to UWC, according to Christina Raimondo, EG’s director of business development, and has also purchased intellectual property from the university.

Following on the payment to UWC, EG founder and director Winston Hide will resign as company director, but will remain a UWC employee, where he directs the South African National Bioinformatics Institute (SANBI), and will lead the company’s scientific advisory board, Business Day reported.

“This move addresses any perceived conflict of interest that may have existed under the previous arrangement between the university, the company and myself,” Hide said.


New York Bioinformatics Benefits from Omnibus Spending Bill

A federal omnibus spending bill signed into law on Dec. 1 provides funding for two bioinformatics centers in New York, at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the State University of New York at Buffalo.

RPI will receive $750,000 in funding to support the development of a new Center for Quantitative and Computational Bioscience, part of RPI’s planned Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies, which is scheduled to open in September 2004.

UB, meanwhile, will receive $4.5 million for its Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics.

UB also said last week that the New York State Education Department has approved its bachelor of science program in bioinformatics and computational biology. Students will be able to matriculate in the program starting in Spring 2004.


Sun Launches Bioinformatics COE in Singapore

Sun Microsystems said last week that it has established the Sun-GIS Center of Excellence in Digital Biology at the Genome Institute of Singapore.

Hardware for the Sun-GIS COE includes Sun Fire 4800 servers, V880 servers, Sun StorEdge T3 storage systems, and Sun Blade 100 workstations.

Sun said that researchers at GIS will use Sun’s Solaris platform to improve the usability of current bioinformatics methods as well as to develop new techniques and tools to aid researchers in their current projects.

GIS is also collaborating with the Asia Pacific Science and Technology Center to build a ‘Bio-ClusterGrid’ pilot testbed using Sun Grid Engine. The grid offers biologists in the region web-based access to a suite of about 20 grid-enabled bioinformatics applications via the Sun Ray plug-and-work client.

Sun has so far established seven COEs in computational biology, including the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, Delaware Biotechnology Institute, University of Calgary, University of Chicago, Canadian NRC/CBR, National Cheng Kung University, and the Tokyo University of Science.


SciTegic Partners with Molecular Networks for 3D Structure Modeling

SciTegic said last week that it has partnered with German software firm Molecular Networks to integrate Molecular Networks’ Corina 3D molecular structure software into its Pipeline Pilot data pipelining platform.

The Pipeline Pilot integration component will allow customers of CORINA and Pipeline Pilot to generate high-quality 3D structures from within their data processing protocols, SciTegic said.


Latin America Launches Bioinformatics Network

Science news service SciDev.Net reported last week that Latin America has launched a new regional network to boost regional collaboration in bioinformatics.

According to SciDev.Net, the Iberoamerican Network for Bioinformatics was launched in October, and aims to improve training, increase research coordination, and encourage student exchanges in the region. It links more than 20 research groups from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela, as well as Spain.

The network will receive €50,000 ($61,000) a year from the Spanish government’s Iberoamerican Program of Science and Technology for Development. It will collaborate with another bioinformatics network in the region — the Latin American and Caribbean Network for Bioinformatics (LacBioNet) — which was established last year.

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