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National Science Foundation, Accelrys, The Erasmus Medical Center, Teranode

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NSF Awards RNA Ontology Consortium $500K

The National Science Foundation has ponied up $500,000 to support a five-year project to develop a controlled vocabulary for RNA research.

NSF announced the formation of the project, called the RNA Ontology Consortium, last week.

Neocles Leontis, a Bowling Green State University chemistry professor, will lead the consortium, which will “develop a common vocabulary and scientific concepts relating RNA structure and function,” Leontis said.

The consortium includes scientists from Stanford, Duke, Yale, Rutgers, Georgia Tech, the University of California-Berkeley, the University of North Carolina, the University of Rochester, the University of Montreal, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Institut de Biologie Moleculaire et Cellulaire in France, and the Scripps Research Institute.


NSF Earmarks $7M for Biological Databases

The National Science Foundation said last week that it plans to award $7 million annually under its Biological Databases and Informatics program, which “seeks to encourage new approaches to the management, analysis, and dissemination of biological knowledge for the benefit of both the scientific community and the broader public.”

NSF expects to award 20 to 25 grants annually under the program, in the range of $50,000 to $500,000 per year for up to five years.

Further information about the program is available at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2005/nsf05577/nsf05577.txt.


Accelrys to use BlueArc Storage System

BlueArc said last week that Accelrys will use its Titan SiliconServers as its standard storage platform.

Accelrys purchased three Titan SiliconServers with more than 40 TB of storage to support its operations in San Diego, Calif.; Cambridge, UK; and Bangalore, India.

Researchers and software developers at Accelrys are utilizing the storage system to support gene sequence processing, engineering build data, and Oracle databases, BlueArc said. Accelrys client PCs are also backed up directly to the Titan system.


Erasmus Opens Center for Bioinformatics; Signs Deals with Ingenuity, Ordina

The Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam last week opened a new Center for Bioinformatics.

Concurrent with the launch of the center, Ingenuity said that the Erasmus MC had licensed its Ingenuity Pathways Analysis software in a deal that will give all researchers at the Erasmus MC access to the product.

In addition to licensing agreement, Ingenuity and the Erasmus MC said that they are collaborating on the development of new algorithms, visualizations, and practical applications in molecular and clinical diagnostics.

Erasmus MC is also involved in “product development in proteomics around applications developed at Ingenuity,” Ingenuity said.

In another deal announced last week, the Erasmus MC said that it will collaborate with IT firm Ordina to develop bioinformatics-based diagnostic services.

Ordina and the Erasmus MC plan to provide services to analyze data from microarrays and other platforms.


St. Jude to Use Teranode Design Suite

Teranode said last week that St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s proteomics facility will use the Teranode Design Suite informatics platform as its laboratory information management system.

The proteomics lab will use the system to automate tasks associated with sample tracking, array formatting, data tracking, and protocol design that are currently managed manually.

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