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United Devices, Sanofi-Synthlabo, Linux Networx, Molecular Connections, Duke University, Definiens, BioAnalytica


UD Signs Sanofi-Synthélabo, Opens UK Office

United Devices will announce this week that it has secured Sanofi-Synthélabo as a customer for its MetaProcessor distributed computing platform, and has also established a UK-based office.

The initial deployment at the French pharmaceutical firm will utilize an unspecified number of the company’s desktop PCs to test several heterogeneous virtual screening methods to determine which produce the highest quality results. According to UD, “the successful outcome of these screening tests would result in a significant expansion of the current deployment.”


CDC Chooses Linux Cluster for Smallpox Genomics

Linux Networx is announcing this week that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has installed a Linux Networx Evolocity cluster supercomputer to study smallpox genomics.

The CDC’s Biotechnology Core Facility Branch required additional computer power to study the disease and evaluate new vaccines due to health problems caused by the current smallpox vaccine, Linux Networx said.

The cluster of 40 AMD Athlon MP processors has already sped up research at the CDC, allowing researchers to run 45 pairwise genomics alignments in one day, compared to the two weeks it took with their previous computing solution.

CDC is running Blast, as well as the ClustalW, Dialign, and MGA alignment programs on the cluster.


Molecular Connections Sells M-CHIPS Software to Avalon

Molecular Connections, a biomedical text-mining software provider based in Bangalore, India, said last week that Avalon Pharmaceuticals has licensed its natural language processing-based information extraction system, M-CHIPS (Molecular Connections High-density Information extraction and Pathway System). The company will also provide curation and annotation support to Avalon as part of the agreement.

Avalon scientists will use M-Chips to mine unstructured data from the literature for information on protein-protein interactions and pathway-disease associations.


Duke Bioinformatics Doctoral Program Sees increase in Applicants

Duke University’s doctoral program in bioinformatics and genome technology, which is in its second year, attracted 128 applicants, the university’s news service reported last week.

This number exceeded the number of applicants to the university’s biology program, the report said.

The doctoral program is one among 51 master’s or doctoral programs at Duke. Overall, the programs attracted 7,855 applicants for the 2003-2004 year, a 20 percent increase over the 2002-2003 year. International applicants outnumbered US applicants as well.


Definiens, WITA to Co-Market Proteomics Solutions

Munich-based Definiens said last week that it has signed a proteomics partnership agreement with the Wittmann Institute of Technology and Analysis of Biomolecules (WITA) of Berlin.

Under the terms of the agreement, the two organizations will jointly market their services to customers for selected projects. WITA, which provides 2D gel electrophoresis services, will adapt its 2D gels for analysis by Definiens’ Proteomweaver software and will contribute to the further development of Proteomweaver.


BioAnalytica Showcases 2d Gel Software Introductions

Product representatives from GATC Biotech of Konstanz, Germany, said at the BioAnalytica conference in Munich last week that the company is planning to roll out a new version of its GATC Eclipse 2D gel analysis software in the coming weeks. The software allows users to align multiple gels to a master gel, and read different fluorescent dyes in the sample and master. The new release, Version 3.0, will include capabilities to export data to Excel spreadsheets, statistical tools, three dimensional views of spots, and the ability to align spots before detection and quantification. The company has an online demo at its website,

Meanwhile, Decodon of Greifswald, Germany, said at the conference that it introduced version 3.0 of 2D gel analysis software Delta 2D, which includes the ability to create proteome maps, manage projects, align gels of different colors, and match and label spots quickly. The software also links to Excel and has easy export capabil -ities for PowerPoint slides. The product, which the 11-person company distributes mainly in Germany, was developed by Sven Luhn of the University of Greifswald near the Baltic Sea. An evaluation version is available for download on the company’s website,

Filed under

The Scan

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Investigators find a diagnostic edge for whole-genome sequencing, while highlighting the cost advantages and improving diagnostic rate of exome sequencing in EJHG.