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University of British Columbia

Genome British Columbia said today that a team comprising researchers from Canada, the US, and France is embarking on an effort to sequence and develop genetic tools for the sunflower genome.

The $3.2 million project funded by DOD and Canada will focus on using bacterial genomics to develop RDX degradation tools.

Two programs guided by Canadian funding and research will try to use poplars and pines for biofuels.

Tech Transfer Tidbits

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Eiger Biopharma licenses Hep C Rx IP from Stanford; TapImmune buys vaccine IP from UBC; Acetylon Pharma closes $7.25M series A to commercialize Dana-Farber, Harvard HDAC inhibitors; EMD Serono and MD Anderson ink clinical trial pact; U of Queensland's IMBcom licenses HGH receptor cell lines to Prolor Biotech

Alnylam will have the exclusive rights to all new inventions resulting from the alliance, as well as the rights to sublicense any related intellectual property. Tekmira will have the right to use new inventions with its own RNAi therapeutics.

The latest pact will focus on the use of p97 as a delivery system to transport Alzheimer's drugs across the blood-brain barrier. Last month, Bioasis and UBC inked a first research collaboration to develop and test a p97-based blood test to diagnose and monitor Alzheimer's.

The Canada Foundation for Innovation will support various university research and lab enhancement projects.

The research, published online Sunday in Nature Nanotechnology, is the first to show that scientists can detect unlabeled single DNA bases "to a confidence level … appropriate for a highly competitive commercial sequencing system," Oxford Nanopore's CEO said.

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Mainichi reports that 43 percent of Japanese individuals said they did not want to eat agricultural products that had been modified using gene-editing tools.

Two US Department of Agriculture research departments are moving to the Kansas City area, according to the Washington Post.

Slate's Jane Hu compares some at-home genetic tests to astrology.

In PLOS this week: analysis of polygenic risk scores for skin cancer, chronic pain GWAS, and more.