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People & Products: Aug 11, 2000


•   Proteomics is all the rage and Compugen, the Israeli hardware-cum-software-cum-Web portal company, recently said that it, too, will bring a proteomics device to market.

In September Compugen of Tel Aviv plans to release a 2-d gel analysis tool, Z-3, which the company said automatically and instantaneously aligns proteins from healthy and diseased tissue, allowing scientists to quickly hone in on protein variations.

Eli Mintz, president of Compugen, said the analyzing technique was borrowed from those used by other Israeli companies, such as Orbotech, which develops optical equipment for inspecting and imaging circuit boards and display panels.

“We have a technology that in under one minute automatically aligns two different pictures,” Mintz said. “One gel is magenta, the other is green and when you put one on top of the other, the picture becomes black. The computer automatically aligns and registers the pictures at the pixel level and where you see the different colors, you know that’s the difference.”

Once the different proteins are located, they can be extracted and put through a mass spectrometer for analysis.


•   Software developer Spotfire of Cambridge, Mass., recently announced the release of 5.0, a software package that integrates a number of decision-making tools for scientists, researchers, product managers, and engineers.

The latest version, which is capable in the areas of interactive visual analysis, data mining and data access, is immediately available to Spotfire’s license and maintenance subscribers.

The company said that Version 5.0 provides new Web capabilities that can improve users’ ability to analyze data and share results throughout an organization.

Spotfire’s products are used by pharmaceutical and biotech companies for drug discovery as well as by engineers, researchers, and product managers in the specialty chemicals, petro chemicals, oil and gas, and semiconductor industries.


•   Application service provider Viaken Systems of Gaithersburg, Md, said it will provide access to Ensembl, a genome annotation system developed by the European Bioinformatics Institute and the Sanger Center.

Ensembl applies computer-generated annotation to genome sequences as soon as the sequences become available. The resulting annotation and production systems, as well as a database containing annotated human genome information, are in the public domain.

Viaken will host the Ensembl system for use through its ASP service, enabling clients to integrate their data with the annotated data in the Viaken system. 


•   Genomix of Oak Ridge, Tenn., has released the newest version of its analysis program for locating and modeling genes in human and eukaryotic DNA.

Genomix said GrailEXP Version 3.0 is able to automatically and properly recognize and model the beginnings and ends of genes in complex multi-gene sequence regions. Version 3.0 can also recognize alternatively spliced genes and build multiple transcripts of such genes based on available evidence and incorporate untranslated parts of genes in gene models.

In addition, it has the ability to automatically recognize partial (incomplete) genes and model these with special rules. The company said GrailEXP models genes more accurately than other genefinding tools because it integrates experimental database evidence such as expressed sequence tags in the gene recognition and modeling process. This allows companies with access to high-quality EST collections to develop their own proprietary view of the human genome.

Genomix, which counts Celera Genomics, AstraZeneca, DoubleTwist, and Aventis among its customers, has projected revenues for this calender year of $1.2 million.


•   Arun Jagota, a scientific researcher and lecturer at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is publishing two eBooks on bioinformatics.

     Information about the books, Data Analysis for Bioinformatics and Data Classification for Bioinformatics, can be found at with

•   Sequenom has appointed Rick Episcopo senior vice president of commercial operations and William Burton as vice president of corporate development.

Toni Schuh, the company’s CEO, said the appointments ref-lected Sequenom’s plans to develop collaborations, step up sales and acquire new technologies.


•   Orchid BioSciences of Princeton, NJ, has appointed Leroy Hood, president and director of the Institute for Systems Biology, to its scientific advisory board.

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