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Funding Update: NSF Bioinformatics Grants Awarded Feb. 20 — Mar. 20, 2013

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Protein Functional Sites Identification Using Sequence Variation
Start Date: June 1, 2013
Expires: May 31, 2016
Awarded Amount to Date: $480,195
Principal Investigator: Daisuke Kihara
Sponsor: Purdue University

According to the abstract, the funds will support the development of computational methods that detect structured variation in protein sequences. Specifically, the investigators will develop bioinformatics methods to examine “amino acid mutations specific to known functional regions of proteins” and methods that can identify “positions in proteins that mutate simultaneously in a mutually constrained fashion.”


Integrative Synthetic Biology: A Scalable Framework for Modular Multilevel Design
Start Date: Mar. 1, 2013
Expires: Feb. 28, 2018
Awarded Amount to Date: $364,978
Principal Investigator: Ilias Tagkopoulos
Sponsor: University of California, Davis

According to the abstract, the funds will support the development of an integrated computational synthetic biology framework and tools for “automated systems-level design of mixed-signal synthetic circuits.”


Making Advanced Statistical Tools Accessible for Quantitative Research Synthesis and Discovery in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Start Date: May 1, 2013
Expires: Apr. 30, 2016
This grant is awarded to three investigative teams:
Jessica Gurevitch; State University of New York, Stony Brook; $205,081
Marc Lajeunesse; University of South Florida; $193,890
Byron Wallace, Thomas Trikalinos, Christopher Schmid; Brown University; $502,667

According to the abstract, the investigators will use the funds to develop software called OpenMeta for Ecology and Evolution, OpenMEE, which will “facilitate implementation of statistical methods appropriate for meta-analysis of ecological and evolutionary data, and will include a user interface specifically designed for the unique challenges and conventions of research synthesis in these fields.”


Dynamic Models of Isolation and Admixture for Community-Scale Population Genomic Inference
Start Date: Jan. 1, 2013
Expires: Dec. 31, 2017
Awarded Amount to Date: $175,741
Principal Investigator: Michael Hickerson
Sponsor: City College, City University of New York

These funds will support the development of computational tools and models that can “accommodate the complexity inherent in analyzing genomic data at the level of multiple individuals across different species.”


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The Scan

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Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.