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NHGRI, ENCODE, SGI, China National Human Genome Center, Institute for Systems Biology, GeneGo, Exludus, Microsoft, Pfizer, BioWisdom, Agilent

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NHGRI Earmarks $1M for ENCODE Data Analysis
 
The National Human Genome Research Institute plans to award $1 million in fiscal year 2008 to a data analysis center that will support the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) project.
 
According to a request for applications issued last week, the data-analysis center will “coordinate and … assist in the analysis of data produced by the ENCODE Consortium,” which plans to “apply high-throughput, cost-efficient approaches to generate a catalog of sequence-based functional elements in the human genome.”
 
The data-analysis center will work with the ENCODE analysis working group to “coordinate the activities of the informatics groups of the individual Consortium member groups, the DCC, and the AWG; identify integrative analyses that should be carried out with the ENCODE data; perform all necessary data transformations and analyses with ENCODE data; and provide final ENCODE analysis data sets to the broad scientific community.”
 
Letters of intent are due Aug. 6 and applications are due Sept. 6.
 

 
China National Human Genome Center Uses SGI System for Blood Fluke Genome Sequence Analysis
 
SGI said this week that the China National Human Genome Center is using its computational systems to analyze data for a project to sequence the genome of Schistosoma japonicum, the blood fluke parasite.
 
CHGC is using SGI’s RASC (Reconfigurable Application-Specific Computing) appliance and 8 terabytes of InfiniteStorage 350 storage solution. SGI said that scientists at the institute have reported a 10-fold speedup in query times with the combination of the RASC technology, an accelerated version of Blast-n developed by Mitrionics, and its Altix server platform.
 
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
 

 
Institute for Systems Biology Licenses GeneGo's MetaCore and 1-2-3 Workflow
 
The Institute for Systems Biology has licensed GeneGo’s MetaCore software and its 1-2-3 Workflow, the company said this week.
 
Under the deal, all of ISB’s research staff will use the pathway-analysis and systems-biology tools at the facility’s labs in Seattle.
 
GeneGo also said it will collaborate with ISB on “several research projects,” and said Metacore will be integrated with Cytoscape, an open-source network visualization software package that ISB supports.
 
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.
 

 
Exludus Joins Microsoft's BioIT Alliance
 
Exludus said this week that it has joined the BioIT Alliance, the Microsoft-driven project that looks to harness biotech and IT tools for use in development of personalized medicine and in pharmacological research.
 
The Montreal-based developer of grid and data cluster-optimization software joins other members, including Accelrys, Affymetrix, Agilent Technologies, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Applied Biosystems, the BioTeam, Digipede Technologies, Discovery Biosciences, Geospiza, Hewlett- Packard, Illumina, InterKnowlogy, Sun Microsystems, the Scripps Research Institute, and VizX Labs.
 

 
Pfizer Extends KnowledgeScan Software Agreement with BioWisdom
 
Pfizer will continue to use BioWisdom’s KnowledgeScan software in its drug-discovery efforts, BioWisdom said this week.
 
The deal is an extension of an agreement that was originally signed last June [BioInform 06-09-06]. 
 
Pfizer plans to use the software to “assess the market opportunity, potential strategy, and clinical trial design” for an undisclosed class of compounds, BioWisdom said.
 
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.
 

 
Agilent Signs Asia-Pacific Distributors for Array Software and Tools
 
Agilent has hired five new distributors and added two new service providers in Asia-Pacific markets, the company said this week.
 
Agilent said it has landed distribution agreements for its Bioanalyzer products and its GeneSpring software in Indonesia, India, Korea, Hong Kong, China, and Australia, and has added certified service providers in China and India.
 
Distributors include Imperial Life-Sciences, Korea Biomics, LnC Bio, Pacific Laboratory Products, and Research Biolabs.
 
Service providers include Shanghai Bio in China and Genotypic Technology in India.
 
Chris Tan, Agilent’s director of genomics for the Asia Pacific region, said the area is a “strategic focus” for the company because it “has experienced double-digit growth for the last five years.”
 
Agilent said it plans to continue to hunt for more service provider collaborations in the region, Tan added.
 
Financial terms of the agreements were not released.

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