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Imperial College London

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council today announced a £5 million ($7.9 million) five-year grant to a consortium of universities to develop a Web-based synthetic biology platform.

The group's core areas of interest are in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, leukemias, and infectious diseases, and in particular, familial hypercholesterolemia and cardiac arrhythmia.

The new partners will each contribute £40 million in the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation, bringing the total committed funding for the planned London institute to £700 million ($1.14 billion).

The group from Imperial College London's Hammersmith Hospital has developed a duplex qPCR assay that measures both BCR-ABL1 target and endogenous control transcripts in the same reaction with no loss of sensitivity compared to a previously used simplex test.

The lab will study how metabolic data can be used in the operating room at St. Mary's Hospital.

The government of Qatar will work with Imperial College London experts to start a large biobank with up to 100,000 donors.

Members of a European consortium reported that they have identified several new genetic variants that are associated with asthma, including some specifically linked to asthma diagnosed in childhood.

Using the genome-wide association approach, researchers with the International Meningococcal Genetics Consortium have identified susceptibility variants for meningococcal disease in genes coding for components of the complement immune system.

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The Associated Press reports that a state board in Texas has asked ANDE, a maker of rapid DNA machines, to halt its work there.

James Wyngaarden, the former director of the US National Institutes of Health, has died at 94, according to Duke University School of Medicine.

Researchers find that a 30-year-old skull comes from a narwhal-beluga hybrid, according to Science News.

In Nature this week: study of value diversity in GWAS, Epstein-Barr virus subtypes linked to nasopharyngeal carcinoma risk, and more.