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George Mason University, ABRF, NextGen, Paragon Bioservices, UC-Berkeley, GeneGo

George Mason Proteomics Scientists Develop Tool to Save Biomarkers in Blood
Scientists at George Mason University’s Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine have developed a technology they say captures protein biomarkers from blood samples and protects them from degradation after they have been extracted for analysis.
Dubbed “smart hydrogel nanoparticles,” they mix with a patient’s blood sample “to instantly soak up protein biomarkers,” according to a statement from CAPMM. Scientists at the center said that the tool is a “breakthrough in biomarker discovery and analysis because it immediately preserves, protects, and stabilizes the molecules — something no other technology has been shown to do.”
The center is using the technology to study cancer, infectious diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and cardiovascular disease. It can also be used for other applications such as environmental remediation and rapid blood dialysis for transplant patients, according to Alessandra Luchini, a scientist at CAPMM and the lead author of an article describing the technology in Nano Letters.

ABRF Seeking Participants for Recombinant Protein Expression Study
The Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities’ Protein Expression Research Group is inviting researchers to participate in its study of recombinant protein expression in E. coli.
The group’s goal is to determine the variability of results with expression and purification of a common His-tagged protein. PERG will provide researchers with a plasmid expression construct, information about the construct and encoded cDNA, and instructions regarding how to participate in the study.
The study is open to members and non-members of ABRF. Those new to recombinant protein expression will be given a basic protocol on how to do the expression and purification. Experienced scientists are encouraged to use their own protocols. Participants will remain anonymous but be able to see how their results compared to others and what conditions resulted in the greatest yield and purity.
The study will remain open until March 31. Preliminary results for data returned early will be presented at ABRF’s conference next month.
Interested parties should contact John Hawes at [email protected].

NextGen, Paragon Form Co-Marketing Alliance
NextGen Sciences and Paragon Bioservices have entered into an alliance to co-market each others’ fee-for-service offerings.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.
In a press release, NextGen said the alliance will allow it to extend its fee-for-service offering and “offer existing and future customers an integrated offering including molecular biology, protein production, proteomics, functional assay development, biomarker discovery, and monitoring.’

UC-Berkeley Likes GeneGo’s MetaDiscovery Tools
GeneGo this week said that the University of California, Berkeley, is expanding the use of the company’s MetaCore/MetaDrug Discovery platform in its computational toxicology course.
The MetaDiscovery platform allows the integration and expert analysis of different kinds of experimental data, including proteomic data, and bioactive chemistry.

The Scan

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.

Study Highlights Pitfall of Large Gene Panels in Clinical Genomic Analysis

An analysis in Genetics in Medicine finds that as gene panels get larger, there is an increased chance of uncovering benign candidate variants.

Single-Cell Atlas of Drosophila Embryogenesis

A new paper in Science presents a single-cell atlas of fruit fly embryonic development over time.

Phage Cocktail Holds Promise for IBD

Researchers uncovered a combination phage therapy that targets Klebsiella pneumonia strains among individuals experiencing inflammatory bowel disease flare ups, as they report in Cell.