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Funding Update: NSF Bioinformatics Grants Awarded Mar. 21 — Apr. 19, 2013

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Visualization and Statistics for Spatial Population Genomic Analysis
Start Date: May 1, 2013
Expires: April 30, 2016
Awarded Amount to Date: $327,156
Principal Investigator: Graham Coop
Sponsor: University of California, Davis

According to the abstract, the funds will support the development of methods and software that can generate maps from genomic data and also map samples of unknown origin. These tools could be used to identify the origins of new parasites, "identify key barriers dividing the range of an endangered species" and infer ancestry among other uses.


An integrated Systems Engineering Approach to the Modeling of Cellular Dynamics and Bioreactors
Start Date: April 1, 2013
Expires: March 31, 2016
Awarded Amount to Date: $143,986
Principal Investigators: Jin Wang, Thomas Jeffries, Qinghua He
Sponsor: Auburn University

According to the abstract, the funds will be used to develop a model that can adequately describe the dynamics of cellular metabolism. Specifically, the investigators intend to develop a computational framework called flux balance analysis guided dynamic programming, FBA-DP, that will be used to "model the dynamics of cellular metabolism" that will be coupled with an experimental procedures and equipment that "have been developed to obtain dynamic process information required by the computational component."


Developing a 3D Browser to Explore Genomes
Start Date: Feb. 1, 2013
Expires: Sept 30, 2016
Awarded Amount to Date: $342,813
Principal Investigator: Wenjin Zheng
Sponsor: University of Texas, Health Science Center Houston

According to the abstract, the investigators intend to further develop a proof-of-concept interactive 3D viewer, dubbed Genome3D, that will help researchers integrate and visualize their genomic and epigenomic data. Specifically, they intend to build a platform independent system that biologists can use to build and refine 3D genome models for analyzing their data


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The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.