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People in the News: Mar 13, 2009 (rev. 1)

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The International Society for Computational Biology has named Webb Miller, a researcher at Pennsylvania State University, as the winner of its Accomplishment by a Senior Scientist Award for 2009. Trey Ideker of the University of California, San Diego, will receive the 2009 Overton Prize, for scientists in their early- to mid-career.

Miller worked on the algorithms that were used in Blast, collaborated on the development of sequence-alignment software for the UCSC Genome Browser, and developed the first program capable of comparative alignment for entire vertebrate-sized genomes.

Ideker is a pioneer in modeling and analyzing networks of molecular interactions using genome-scale measurements and is the developer of Cytoscape, an open source program for visualizing molecular networks. In 2003, his group was the first to demonstrate that protein networks can be aligned and compared across species, just like genome sequences.


Patrick Soon-Shiong is the new chairman of the X Prize Foundation's Life Sciences Prize Group Steering Committee. The X Prize Foundation currently supports one life science initiative, the Archon Genomic X Prize, which challenges scientists and bioengineers to be the first to sequence 100 human genomes within 10 days or less.

Under Soon-Shiong's direction, the Life Sciences GSC will address such subjects as healthcare, genomics, proteomics, bionics/human augmentation, rapid disease detection, disease prevention, human longevity, and artificial intelligence in medical diagnosis.

Soon-Shiong is also chairman and CEO of Abraxis BioScience.

The Scan

Self-Reported Hearing Loss in Older Adults Begins Very Early in Life, Study Says

A JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery study says polygenic risk scores associated with hearing loss in older adults is also associated with hearing decline in younger groups.

Genome-Wide Analysis Sheds Light on Genetics of ADHD

A genome-wide association study meta-analysis of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder appearing in Nature Genetics links 76 genes to risk of having the disorder.

MicroRNA Cotargeting Linked to Lupus

A mouse-based study appearing in BMC Biology implicates two microRNAs with overlapping target sites in lupus.

Enzyme Involved in Lipid Metabolism Linked to Mutational Signatures

In Nature Genetics, a Wellcome Sanger Institute-led team found that APOBEC1 may contribute to the development of the SBS2 and SBS13 mutational signatures in the small intestine.