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Oracle, Agilent, Silicon Genetics, Predictive ADME-Tox, Promega, GenoLogics, Nonlinear Dynamics, Riken, BlueGnome, UCSD


Oracle Seeks Nominations for Life Science Advisory Board

Oracle said last week that it is seeking nominations for the advisory board for the Oracle Life Sciences User Group (OLSUG).

According to a statement on the OLSUG website (, the user group is conducting an election to form the OLSUG Advisory Board, which will consist of 11 members: six from member companies, two from Oracle Alliance Partners, and three from Oracle.

Members will be elected annually by the OLSUG at large. The board will include a chairperson, a vice-chairperson, a secretary, and sub-committee leaders. Each board officer will be elected to serve a one-year term, and officers are elected by a majority vote of board members, Oracle said.

The deadline for applications is Nov. 30, and voting will open on Dec. 1. Voting closes on Dec. 15, and results will be posted on the OLSUG website on Dec. 16.

Agilent Completes Silicon Genetics Acquisition

Agilent Technologies said last week that it has wrapped up its acquisition of Silicon Genetics.

The companies announced the acquisition agreement in August. [BioInform 09-06-04]

Financial details of the purchase were not disclosed.

NIH to Award $2M in FY 2005 for Predictive ADME-Tox

The National Institutes of Health has issued a request for applications for new methods for predicting ADME-Tox profiles.

The project, “Novel Preclinical Tools for Predictive ADME-Toxicology,” is an NIH Roadmap initiative.

NIH said that it intends to commit around $2 million in fiscal year 2005 to fund four to seven new grants in response to the RFA.

Examples of preclinical ADME-Tox evaluation tools that will be considered for awards include statistical models developed from preclinical and available clinical data; computational models, including data integration tools that link mRNA levels, protein expression levels, protein activities, and metabolite profiles with chemical scaffolds and ADME-tox parameters; quantitative structure-activity relationship models; and experimental methods.

Letters of intent are due on Dec. 17, and applications are due on Jan. 21, 2005. Awards are expected to start next September.

Further information is available at

Promega to Use Isys Search Software

Isys Search Software said last week that Promega Corporation will use its suite of search software to for enterprise-wide e-mail searching, network searching, and site searching for its intranets and partner websites.

Isys said that the software will enable Promega’s 700 employees to search across more than 2 terabytes of data.

David Pagenkopf, manager of systems development and management at Promega, said that the enterprise-wide system came in at a third of the cost of those from “traditional competitors,” but the firms did not disclose financial details.

Nonlinear Partners with GenoLogics on Proteomic LIMS

Nonlinear Dynamics said last week that it will collaborate with LIMS provider GenoLogics Life Sciences Software to combine Nonlinear’s image analysis software with GenoLogics’ ProteusLIMS platform.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

GenoLogics said that ProteusLIMS includes a lab management component and a proteomic data management component. The lab management components track samples, projects, clients, tasks, and employees. The scientific data management module tracks instruments, containers, public databases, techniques, and several aspects of gels, mass spec, and protein searching.

Riken Develops Structure Analysis Method

Japan’s Riken said last week that it has developed a new X-ray protein structure analysis method in collaboration with researchers at Nagoya University.

Details of the method will be presented at the Supercomputing 2004 conference in Pittsburgh this week.

According to Riken, the approach uses a molecular dynamics machine, a proprietary ultra high-speed computer, and an algorithm developed by the Nagoya University group to analyze x-ray protein structures.

Riken said it has launched a new project to commercialize the new method.

IFR to Use BlueGnome’s BlueFuse Software

The UK-based Institute of Food Research has licensed BlueGnome’s BlueFuse microarray analysis software to help it pinpoint how a certain bacterium in food causes disease, BlueGnome said last week.

IFR scientists will use the software to discern how the bacterium, Salmonella typhimurium, evades antibiotics.

IFR has taken a perpetual license to the software.

Financial details of the licensing agreement were not disclosed.

$30M Gift to Benefit Bioinformatics at UCSD

The University of California, San Diego, has received a $30 million gift from the Skaggs Institute for Research to help support its School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, UCSD said last week.

The school's research program “emphasizes” pharmacogenomics, bioinformatics, and computational drug design.

The gift, which the university said is the largest ever to UCSD Health Sciences, will provide $10 million to help recruit faculty and buy equipment. In addition, a $20-million endowment will be established. The school initially plans to use the endowment to hire faculty and recruit students, UCSD said.

In return, UCSD will rename the school The Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

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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.