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Whitehead, MIT, NuGenesis Technologies, IDBS


Whitehead/MIT Team Finds Tiny RNA with New Software

Lee Lim, Christopher Burge, and colleagues from MIT and the Whitehead Institute report in the March 7 issue of Science a new computational method for detecting microRNAs — a class of noncoding RNAs around 22 nucleotides in length that control the expression of other genes at the post-transcriptional level.

The researchers used their software, called MiRscan, to identify 200-255 miRNA genes in the human genome. MiRscan takes a comparative genomics approach to identifying miRNA genes: It searches the human genome for segments similar to characteristic features of experimentally verified miRNA genes from several other species, including C. elegans and C. briggsae.

The researchers note that their estimate comprises around one percent of the predicted genes in humans — a similar portion to that seen for other large gene families with regulatory roles, such as those encoding transcription-factor proteins.


NuGenesis Partners with IBM

NuGenesis Technologies said last week that it had entered an agreement with IBM to co-market its SDMS (Scientific Data Management System) with IBM’s eServer and TotalStorage solutions.

SDMS is an application-independent, web-based platform that captures and stores analytical data from scientific instruments and third-party software.

According to NuGenesis, performance and scalability tests of SDMS running on IBM equipment indicate that over the course of a year, the combined solution provides the capability to archive 527 terabytes of data, or 110 million files of 5 megabytes each. A white paper with details of the tests is available at


IDBS Reports 14 Percent Growth in 2002 Revenues

IDBS, a privately held life science software company based in Guilford, UK, said last week that its revenues for the year ended December 31, 2002, increased 14 percent over 2001 revenues. The company did not provide further details on its revenues for either year.

IDBS attributed the growth in revenues to “substantial new sales” of its ActivityBase biology and chemistry data management software suite as well as its chemistry software applications.

Filed under

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.