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Hewlett-Packard, Institute of Biomedical Informatics, GeneWorks, Ariadne, Golden Helix, LabVantage, Pharmaceutical Services Corporation, University of Washington, OpenHelix

HP Forms Irish Biomedical Informatics Consortium
Hewlett-Packard said earlier this month that it has collaborated with the Irish government and several Irish academic institutions to create the Institute of Biomedical Informatics.
The institute will develop software tools as well as educational and training material to help advance knowledge of biomedical informatics in both the commercial and public sectors, HP said.
IBI will focus on breast cancer, prostate cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and reproductive biology, and there will be “strong emphasis on systems research and service provision through large-scale computing, data management and mining, and visualization,” HP said in a statement.
IBI will be funded through “a collaboration of public funding agencies and industrial partners,” HP said. The company has partnered with the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology to contribute $1 million for a foundation scholars program at the institute.
HP said that total investment in the institute is expected to reach €30 million ($40 million) over the next five years.
IBI partners include University College Dublin; the National University of Ireland, Galway; Trinity College Dublin; and Queen’s University Belfast.

GeneWorks to Distribute Ariadne’s Pathway Studio in Australia and New Zealand
Ariadne said this week that Australian molecular biology tools distributor GeneWorks will begin marketing its products in Australia and New Zealand.
GeneWorks, headquartered in Adelaide, will distribute the company’s Pathway Studio software.
The company will also provide technical support to Pathway Studio users in Australia and New Zealand.

Researchers Use Golden Helix Software for Psychiatric GWAS Analysis
Golden Helix said this week that researchers have used its HelixTree genetic analysis software to analyze data from “the first successful whole-genome association study for a psychiatric illness.”
Results of the study, performed by researchers at the Zucker Hillside Hospital campus of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, were published in the current issue of Molecular Psychiatry.
In the study, which analyzed around 500,000 SNPs, the researchers found a novel locus (rs4129148) near the CSF2RA gene that was “significantly associated” with schizophrenia, Golden Helix said.

Undisclosed Pharma to Use LabVantage LIMS for Biorepository
LabVantage said this week that an undisclosed “global pharmaceutical giant” has licensed its Sapphire Biobanking Solution to support its biorepository operations.
The company’s pathology and cell bank groups will use the software to replace an existing system based on Excel spreadsheets and in-house developed solutions, LabVantage said.

Pharmaceutical Services Corp. Launches Informatics Division
Pharmaceutical Services Corporation, a validation and quality-assurance consulting organization, said this week that it has launched a new informatics division focused on LIMS, electronic laboratory notebooks, and other laboratory software systems.
Phil Lofty, PSC’s vice president of business development, will head the new division.
“As regulations and competitive pressures drive changes, we work closely with our clients to ensure that their labs have the information infrastructure to stay current with regulatory requirements while leveraging best practices in laboratory systems and processes,” Lofty said in a statement.

University of Washington Hires OpenHelix to Run Informatics Trainings Courses
The University of Washington said last week that it has hired OpenHelix to provide training programs for its SeattleSNPs tool and Genome Variation Server.
SeattleSNPs is used to identify and genotype the associations between SNPs and genes and pathways linked to human inflammatory responses.
The GVS is a repository of dbSNP and HapMap databases that allows users to upload their own data for analysis and visualization.
The program will offer online training, tutorials, exercises, and presentation materials, the university said.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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The Scan

Myotonic Dystrophy Repeat Detected in Family Genome Sequencing Analysis

While sequencing individuals from a multi-generation family, researchers identified a myotonic dystrophy type 2-related short tandem repeat in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

TB Resistance Insights Gleaned From Genome Sequence, Antimicrobial Response Assays

Researchers in PLOS Biology explore M. tuberculosis resistance with a combination of sequencing and assays looking at the minimum inhibitory concentrations of 13 drugs.

Mendelian Disease Genes Prioritized Using Tissue-Specific Expression Clues

Mendelian gene candidates could be flagged for further functional analyses based on tissue-specific transcriptome and proteome profiles, a new Journal of Human Genetics paper says.

Single-Cell Sequencing Points to Embryo Mosaicism

Mosaicism may affect preimplantation genetic tests for aneuploidy, a single-cell sequencing-based analysis of almost three dozen embryos in PLOS Genetics finds.