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Funding Update: NSF Bioinformatics Grants Awarded Dec. 21, 2011 — Feb. 24, 2012

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Predicting and Mining Phenome-Genome Association across Species
Start Date: Aug. 1, 2012
Expires: July 31, 2017
Awarded Amount to Date: $83,847
Principal Investigator: Rui Kuang
Sponsor: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Supports the development of computational methods that will be used to predict and understand phenome-genome association across multiple species. According to the investigators, the project will yield a web portal called Phenome-Genome Explorer as well as a collection of tools that researchers could use to prioritize genes and test their association with phenotypes. Specifically, the methods will be used to study associations in ovarian and lung cancer phenotypes as well as the growth phenotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana to identify genes that govern seedling de-etiolation and seed development.


A Modular, Community Based Design Platform for Synthetic Biology (Clotho)
Start Date: May 1, 2012
Expires: April 30, 2015
Awarded Amount to Date: $357,234; $92,042
Principal Investigators: Douglas Densmore; John Anderson
Sponsors: Trustees of Boston University; University of California, Berkeley

The funds will support the development of the Clotho software platform for synthetic biology. According to the abstract, Clotho links biological databases to user-created apps through a common interface that reflects a data model specifically tailed to synthetic biology. These apps can then be used to “create design flows covering high level specification of biological functionality all the way down to basic sample tracking and laboratory management.”


Exploring the 3D Structure Organization of Genomes
Start Date: April 1, 2012
Expires: March 31, 2017
Awarded Amount to Date: $163,504
Principal Investigator: Douglas Densmore
Sponsor: University of Southern California

The funds will be used to develop methods to study the three-dimensional spatial organization of genomes. It will include tools to combine large-scale data sources; identify functional units in the 3D structures; and characterize structural elements in genome architectures through image analysis.


The Scan

And For Adolescents

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15 years old.

Also of Concern to WHO

The Wall Street Journal reports that the World Health Organization has classified the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.617 as a "variant of concern."

Test for Them All

The New York Times reports on the development of combined tests for SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses like influenza.

PNAS Papers on Oral Microbiome Evolution, Snake Toxins, Transcription Factor Binding

In PNAS this week: evolution of oral microbiomes among hominids, comparative genomic analysis of snake toxins, and more.