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Johns Hopkins, De Novo Pharmaceuticals, World Trace Archive, VizX Labs, National Library of Medicine, Simulations Plus, ACD/Labs, Semantic Web


Johns Hopkins to Offer Online MS in Bioinformatics

Johns Hopkins University is launching an online master's degree program in bioinformatics this spring, the university said this week.

The program, aimed at working professionals with undergraduate and advanced degrees in biological sciences or engineering, will be offered through the Whiting School of Engineering's Engineering and Applied Science Programs for Professionals and the Zanvyl Kreiger School of Arts and Sciences' Advanced Academic Programs.

The program will require students to complete 11 courses in molecular biology, computer science, and bioinformatics. The courses must be completed within six years.

Further information is available at

De Novo Signs In Silico Drug Discovery Collaboration with Genzyme

De Novo Pharmaceuticals has entered into a collaboration with Genzyme under which it will use its SkelGen computational drug-design technology to focus on a disease target of interest to Genzyme.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

SkelGen's core algorithm generates new molecular structures by the random assembly of small molecular fragments. The company claims that 99 percent of the structures produced by SkelGen are "novel and chemically tractable."

World Trace Archive Surpasses Billion-Entry Mark

The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute said this week that the World Trace Archive database of DNA sequences has hit one billion entries.

The Trace Archive includes all the sequence data produced and published by the world scientific community. The archive is currently 22 terabytes and is doubling every ten months, the Sanger Institute said.

Sanger said that .com internet domains are currently responsible for about 80 percent of trace archive downloads, followed by US university researchers and UK scientists.

OHSU Purchases Academic Core License for VizX Labs' GeneSifter

VizX Labs said this week that Oregon Health & Science University has purchased an academic core license for its GeneSifter microarray-analysis system.

The agreement extends an existing license for GeneSifter at the OHSU Cancer Institute to all OHSU researchers.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

NLM Earmarks $15M for Biomedical Informatics Training in 2007

The National Library of Medicine has issued a request for applications for the program, "Institutional Grants for Research Training in Biomedical Informatics."

NLM has allocated $15 million to fund 16 to 20 grants in fiscal year 2007 under the program, which will support predoctoral and postdoctoral training programs in biomedical informatics.

"Applications may be for the creation of entirely new training programs, for the purpose of adding NLM-supported trainees to existing training programs, or for the renewal of existing NLM training program grants," NLM said in the RFA.

Letters of intent are due on February 17 and applications are due on March 17. Awards are expected to start on July 1, 2007.

Further information is available at

Simulations Plus Posts 23-Percent Drop in Q1 Revenue

Simulations Plus this week reported a 23-percent drop in revenues for the first quarter of its 2006 fiscal year, which ended Nov. 30, 2005.

The company posted revenues of $819,000 for the quarter, down dramatically from $1.1 million in the year-ago period. Revenues from pharmaceutical software and services fell by 62 percent, to $199,000, from $524,000 in the first quarter of fiscal year 2005.

The company attributed the decrease to an order worth $300,000 that was received shortly after the close of the quarter, while last year it was received just before the end of the quarter.

R&D spending also fell year over year to $97,222 from $113,692 in the prior-year period.

Simulations Plus posted a net loss of $198,531 for the quarter, compared to net income of $22,507 in the first fiscal quarter of 2005.

The company had cash and cash equivalents of $931,796 as of Nov. 30, 2005.

Harvard Licenses ACD/Labs NMR Software

Advanced Chemistry Development said this week that Harvard University's department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology has licensed its ACD/2D NMR Processor software.

ACD/2D NMR Processor will be deployed to all staff, students, and faculty at the department.

Financial details were not disclosed

W3C's Semantic Web Life Science Group to Hold First Meeting

The Worldwide Web Consortium's Semantic Web for Healthcare and Life Sciences Interest Group (HCLSIG) will hold its first meeting in Cambridge, Mass., Jan 25-26.

The meeting is open to W3C members and "invited experts," Eric Neumann, co-chair of the HCLSIG said.

Neumann told BioInform that the primary goal of the meeting is to assess specific applications that people are developing and to determine "specific activities" for future development. The HCLSIG plans to have another meeting that will be open to non-members "later in the year," he said.

Current HCLSIG member organizations include Hewlett Packard, IBM, Merck, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Oracle, Partners HealthCare, Pfizer, Science Commons, Siemens, Teranode, and the University of Manchester. A complete list is available at

Details of the meeting and the agenda are at

Filed under

The Scan

Looking for Omicron

NPR reports that SARS-CoV-2 testing in the US has gotten better but also that some experts say more needs to be done to better track the Omicron variant.

Holmes Alleges Abuse

The Associated Press reports that Theranos' Elizabeth Holmes has testified at her wire fraud trial that her business and romantic partner abused her.

Bit More Diverse, But More to Do

While Black and Hispanic patients are more likely to participate in cancer clinical trials than previously, they are still underrepresented, according to US News & World Report.

PNAS Papers on Yeast Gene Silencing, Zika Virus Inhibition, Immunoglobulin Hypermutation

In PNAS this week: gene silencing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, possible neuroprotective role for SHFL in a mouse model of Zika virus infection, and more.