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Applied Biosystems, MDS Sciex, Millipore, Laboratory of Computational Biology, David Della Penta, Suzanne Mullins, Tracey McNamara, C. Thomas Caskey, Ferid Murad, Irma Gigli

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New Products

Applied Biosystems, together with its joint venture partner MDS Sciex, introduced this week a new quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer called the QSTARR Elite. Designed for proteomics and metabolomics experiments, the new instrument offers improved sensitivity, resolution, dynamic range, and mass measurement accuracy, as well as greater speed of acquisition over previous technology, the companies said.

The new QSTARR Elite has been configured to work with ABI's recently introduced AnalystR QS 2.0 software for data acquisition and high-throughput workflow automation. In addition, the instrument works with ABI's new Tempo LC system line for liquid chromatography. As with previous versions of the QSTAR system, the new QSTARR Elite works with a variety of different ESI and MALDI ion sources.

The new QSTARR Elite systems are expected to be available for shipment next month, the companies said.


Millipore announced this week the availability of the newest edition of its Protein Research Applications Guide, a publication that features tools for purifying, concentrating, and identifying protein samples. The new guide includes a more complete range of ultrafiltration products, an expanded selection of tangential flow filtration devices, new Immobilon Western HRP and AP chemiluminescent substrates, new Centricon Plus-70 centrifugal filters, and new Immobilon-FL transfer membranes.


The Laboratory of Computational Biology at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has released AD-ENM, a web server for analyzing dynamics of protein structures based on the elastic network model, at http://enm.lobos.nih.gov. Functions include the ability to describe collective protein conformational changes using low-frequency normal modes; prediction of protein conformational changes induced by given local structural deformations; and the identification of key residues that are dynamically important to a given functional site.

Movers & Shakers

Fisher Scientific president and chief operating officer, David Della Penta will retire at the end of 2006, the company said this week.

Succession plans will be announced later this year, Fisher said. Until that time, he will continue to be responsible for all of the company's operating activities.

Fisher named Della Penta as president and COO in April 1998.


Gene Logic named Suzanne Mullins as vice-president of quality systems and regulatory compilance and Tracey McNamara as a veterinary pathologist for the nonclinical services division, the company said this week.

Mullins has held leadership positions in quality systems and regulatory compliance with Astra Zeneca, Merck, Glaxo Research Institute, and Shire Pharmaceuticals.

Previously the head of the department of pathology at New York's Bronx Zoo, McNamara identified the West Nile virus outbreak in 1999 and worked on the vaccine.


C. Thomas Caskey is the new director and CEO-elect of the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases, the University of Texas said late last week.

Caskey has been an adjunct professor and an original member of the institute's scientific advisory board since 2004.

Caskey was founding director of Houston-based Cogene Biotech Ventures and Cogene Ventures, venture capital funds supporting early-stage biotechnology and life sciences companies. He was senior vice-president for human genetics and vaccines discovery at Merck Research Laboratories from 1994 to 2000 and president of the Merck Genome Research Institute from 1998 to 2000.

Caskey earned his medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine and his undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina. He serves as an adjunct professor in the Department of Molecular & Human Genetics at Baylor College of Medicine.

Part of the university's Health Science Center at Houston, the institute will also retain Nobel Laureate Ferid Murad as director and Irma Gigli as deputy director.

The Scan

Gone, But Now Reconstructed SARS-CoV-2 Genomes

In a preprint, a researcher describes his recovery of viral sequences that had been removed from a common database.

Rare Heart Inflammation Warning

The Food and Drug Administration is adding a warning about links between a rare inflammatory heart condition and two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, Reuters reports.

Sandwich Sampling

The New York Times sent tuna sandwiches for PCR analysis.

Nature Papers Describe Gut Viruses, New Format for Storing Quantitative Genomic Data, More

In Nature this week: catalog of DNA viruses of the human gut microbiome, new dense depth data dump format to store quantitative genomic data, and more.