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Tripos, Genedata, Hepatosys, NC Biotech Center, Gene-IT, BioIT Alliance, U of Illinois, Ben Gurion University, Rosetta, Ingenuity, Merck, Microsoft

Tripos To Hold Special Shareholder Meeting March 15
Tripos has scheduled its special meeting of shareholders for March 15 at its offices in St. Louis, Mo.
Shareholders will vote on the proposed sale of the company’s Discovery Informatics business to Vector Capital and subsequent dissolution, which the firm announced last November [BioInform 11-27-06].
If the sale of the Discovery Informatics business is approved, Tripos will sell the business and related liabilities to Vector for $25.6 million in cash.

Genedata Extends Hepatosys Collaboration for Three More Years
Genedata said this week that it has signed a three-year expansion of its collaboration with HepatoSys, an interdisciplinary research consortium of German research centers that is using systems biology to study the human liver cell.
Genedata first began collaborating with the consortium in June 2006. Since that time, the company said, it has developed a computational platform based on its Phylosopher and Expressionist software products that serves as the consortium’s central data storage and analysis infrastructure.
In the next phase of the collaboration, Genedata said it will now work on data analysis projects to interpret the molecular profiling data generated within the HepatoSys consortium.

NC BiotechCenter Awards NCSU Funds for Bioinformatics Linux Cluster
The North Carolina Biotechnology Center has awarded Steffen Heber, a researcher at North Carolina State University, $227,029 for a bioinformatics Linux cluster as part of a broader grant program that provided $1.9 million to four North Carolina universities last week.
The 13 Institutional Development Grants must be matched at least 25 cents on the dollar by other funding sources.

Gene-IT Joins BioIT Alliance
Gene-IT said last week that it has joined the BioIT Alliance, a group of biotech and IT companies working with Microsoft to advance biomedical information technology.
Other BioIT Alliance members include Applied Biosystems, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Affymetrix, Agilent, and other biomedical informatics, tools, and services companies.

U of Illinois To Use 3rd Millennium's ARDAS
3rd Millennium said this week that the Center for Comparative and Functional Genomics at the University of Illinois has purchased its Array Repository and Data Analysis System (ARDAS) software platform.
ARDAS includes a laboratory information management system, a repository and data warehouse, and an analysis information management system.

Ben Gurion University to Use Rosetta’s Elucidator, Resolver
The Ben Gurion University of the Negev has licensed Rosetta Biosoftware’s Resolver system for gene expression analysis and Elucidator system for protein expression analysis system, the company said this week.
Under the agreement, the Microbiology and Immunology department at Ben Gurion will use Resolver and Elucidator as part of a pilot study for a “national test bed” that will allow researchers throughout Israel to evaluate software and databases for biotechnology research.

Ingenuity Expands IPA Licensing Deal with Merck
Ingenuity Systems said this week that it has signed a multi-year agreement with Merck to “extend and expand” the licensing agreement for its Ingenuity Pathways Analysis software.
The company did not provide details of the extended agreement, which the companies initially signed in 2004.

Microsoft Joins SAFE-BioPharma Association
Microsoft said this week that its Healthcare and Life Sciences Group has joined the SAFE-BioPharma Association, a nonprofit association that manages the SAFE (Signatures and Authentication For Everyone) digital identity and signature standard for the pharmaceutical industry.
Microsoft said that it has developed a SAFE signing interface capability for use with the 2007 Microsoft Office system, which gives researchers, vendors, regulators, and clinicians a security-enhanced way to verify their identities when creating, managing, and sending electronic documents.
Source code for the reference implementation interface is available from the Microsoft Developer Network here.
Using the interface, companies will be able to use SAFE certificates to digitally sign documents from within Microsoft Office.

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The Scan

Sick Newborns Selected for WGS With Automated Pipeline

Researchers successfully prioritized infants with potential Mendelian conditions for whole-genome sequencing or rapid whole-genome sequencing, as they report in Genome Medicine.

Acne-Linked Loci Found Through GWAS Meta-Analysis

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics find new and known acne vulgaris risk loci with a genome-wide association study and meta-analysis, highlighting hair follicle- and metabolic disease-related genes.

Retina Cell Loss Reversed by Prime Editing in Mouse Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa

A team from China turns to prime editing to correct a retinitis pigmentosa-causing mutation in the PDE6b gene in a mouse model of the progressive photoreceptor loss condition in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

CRISPR Screens Reveal Heart Attack-Linked Gene

Researchers in PLOS Genetics have used CRISPR screens to home in on variants associated with coronary artery disease that affect vascular endothelial function.