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Locus Pharmaceuticals, Protein Mechanics, Tripos, Compugen, Microarray Gene Expression Data Society

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Locus Acquires Protein Mechanics

Locus Pharmaceuticals said last week that it has acquired Protein Mechanics, a privately held firm based in Mountain View, Calif.

Protein Mechanics’ core technology, Imagiro, simulates protein movement and structure, and is “highly synergistic” with Locus’s own fragment-based approach to computational drug design, the Locus said.

Financial terms and other details of the acquisition were not disclosed.


Tripos Appoints New Auditor

Tripos last week said that it has appointed BDO Seidman as its independent auditor. The company will review Tripos’ financial statements beginning with the quarter ending June 30, 2004.

BDO Seidman replaces Ernst & BioInform 05-03-04] .


Compugen Revenues Continue to Fall

Compugen last week reported a decline in revenues and a higher net loss for the second quarter of 2004, as it continues to focus on its therapeutic protein pipeline.

The company’s revenues declined to $984,000, from $2.9 million in the comparable period a year ago.

Compugen posted a net loss of $3.4 million, versus a net loss of $2.4 million for the second quarter of 2003.

As of June 30, 2004, Compugen had $54.8 million in cash, cash equivalents, and long-term marketable securities — enough to last for three and a half years, the company said. The company’s short-term cash holdings were $21.1 million as of June 30.


MGED Calls for Submission of Microarray Data to Public Repositories

The Microarray Gene Expression Data Society has sent a letter to about 90 scientific journals suggesting that they require authors to submit microarray data to public repositories — specifically, ArrayExpress, the Gene Expression Omnibus, or CIBEX (Center for Information Biology Gene Expression database).

The letter follows on MGED’s successful bid in 2002 to get journals to require that microarray data follow the MIAME guidelines.

While the response to that earlier letter was “extremely positive,” MGED said it believed the journals should now take the extra step of requiring data submission. “While the adoption of these standards has greatly improved the accessibility of microarray data … obtaining and comparing datasets remains a significant challenge,” the authors wrote in the letter.

According to MGED, recent “improvements in the data-entry utilities available for [GEO, ArrayExpress, and CIBEX], as well as a growing number of commercial and academic software packages capable of writing MAGE-ML documents … have lowered the barriers for data submission to the point where we as a community must now reconsider that submission to one of these databases be a requirement.”

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The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.