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Mike Pavia, Paul von Hoegen, Erwin Chargaff


Millennium Pharmaceuticals’ chief technology officer, Mike Pavia, is leaving the company after five years to become entrepreneur-in-residence at Oxford Bioscience Partners.

“It’s time to go out and help incubate the next generation of technologies,” Pavia said in an e-mail to ProteoMonitor’s sister publication GenomeWeb. Pavia will remain a consultant to Millennium.

Paul von Hoegen has joined Europroteome as chief scientific officer, the Berlin-based company said last week. Von Hoegen will be responsible for the coordination of all research activities.

Prior to joining Europroteome, von Hoegen held management positions in several biotech companies, including Pharmexa, Biovector Therapeutics, SysStemix, and at SmithKline Beecham Biologicals. Von Hoegen will continue to serve as a co-chair of tumor immunology in the department of experimental cancer research at the German Cancer Society.

Erwin Chargaff, the renowned biochemist whose insights led to the discovery that DNA was composed of complementary base pairs, died on June 20 in New York. He was 96.

Chargaff began studying DNA in 1944 after Oswald Avery identified the molecule as the basis of heredity. In 1950, he determined that the amounts of adenine and thymine in DNA were roughly the same, as were the amounts of cytosine and guanine.

This principle, which became known as “Chargaff''''s rules,” placed him among the pioneers of genetic science.

With bitter suspicions about the motivations of science and scientists and a dark eloquence rare among molecular biologists, Chargaff later became a sharp critic of the accelerating pace of biotechnology.

“We manipulate nature as if we were stuffing an Alsatian goose,” he once said. “We create new forms of energy; we make new elements; we kill crops; we wash brains. I can hear them in the dark sharpening their lasers.”

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.