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Funding Update: NSF Bioinformatics Grants Awarded March 1 — April 2, 2014


Statistical Ensembles for the Identification of Bacterial Genomes
Start Date: Aug. 1, 2013
Expires: July 31, 2014
Awarded Amount to Date: $495,318
Principal Investigator: Jennifer Clarke
Sponsor: University of Nebraska

According to the abstract, investigators involved in this project, which is focused on reducing bioterrorism threats, will develop statistical and computational tools for detecting pathogens using NGS. As part of their efforts, they plan to develop methods that enable "classification by sequence enrichment; comparison of empirical clusterings and reference genomes; and shrinkage estimation and model selection in hierarchical log-linear models," the abstract states.

New Methods for Genomic Analysis of Noninvasive Species
Start Date: March 1, 2014
Expires: Feb. 29, 2016
Awarded Amount to Date: $292,778
Principal Investigators: Jenny Tung, Susan Alberts
Sponsor: Duke University

These funds will support efforts to develop novel methods for generating analyzing genome-scale data from biological samples collected by noninvasive means, the abstract states. Specifically, the investigators plan to develop "new lab protocols for increasing and purifying the DNA yield from noninvasive samples to a level appropriate for genomic analysis" and to develop new software to analyze the resulting data.

Phylogenetic Tools for Studying Phenotypic Diversification in the Tree of Life
Start Date: April 1, 2014
Expires: March 31, 2019
Awarded Amount to Date: $169,802
Principal Investigator: Liam Revell
Sponsor: University of Massachusetts

These funds will support research efforts to develop a new computational toolkit for phylogentic studies that will include tools for " visualizing trait evolution on trees; new methods to integrate tree estimation and comparative inference; and new approaches to link micro-scale processes and macro-scale patterns on a tree," according to the abstract.

Filed under

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.