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Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, Lustgarten Foundation, National Science Foundation, Waters

Myeloma Foundation Awards $2.25M for Biomarker Study
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation this week awarded $2.25 million to three universities to fund the search for biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets in myeloma using proteomic technologies.
The schools receiving the awards are the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; Indiana University; and the University of Michigan.
The awards were made through MMRF’s Proteomics Initiative, a multi-year collaboration among the three universities “with strong clinical translational research capabilities and state-of-the-art facilities,” the foundation said in a statement. All data from the schools’ research will be shared and published in a jointly authored study.

Lustgarten Foundation Launches Protein Biomarker Project for Pancreatic Cancer
The Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research last week launched a $1.25 million project to create antibodies for biomarker targets against pancreatic cancer.
The project, called the Pancreatic Cancer Biomarker Development Project, is represented by the Canary Foundation, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, University of California, San Francisco, and Van Andel Research Institute. The Lustgarten Foundation is providing all the funding for the project, expected to finish at the end of 2009.
The goal is to identify biomarkers for pancreatic cancer and to eventually develop a diagnostic based on the biomarkers, a company spokeswoman said.

NSF: Unemployment Among Biological, Life Science Researchers Flat
The number of unemployed biological and life scientists in the US grew very slightly between 2003 and 2006 even as their peers in other scientific fields, including computer and mathematical sciences, experienced a decline, according to a government report released this month.
The increase in unemployment was so small that the author of the report classified the numbers as “flat” over the four-year study period, ProteoMonitor’s sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News reported this week.
In addition, while biological scientists lost jobs over the four-year period, the unemployment rate for the entire US labor force during that time declined 1.4 percent, according to US labor force statistics.
The National Scientific Foundation’s biennial unemployment survey found that unemployment between 2003 and 2006 among biological, computer, physical, social, and engineering scientists declined .7 percent to 2.5 percent from 3.2 percent.
Likewise, unemployment among computer/mathematical scientists dipped 1.3 percent to 2.5 percent from 3.8 percent between 2003 and 2006, while unemployment among computer/information scientists fell 1.4 percent to 2.6 percent from 4 percent, the survey found.
However, unemployment among biological and medical scientists inched up .1 percent to 2.6 percent in 2006 from 2.5 percent in 2003, according to the NSF. By comparison, the broader category of “biological/agriculture/other life scientist” saw a .3 percent reduction in unemployment during that period to 2.1 percent from 2.4 percent.

Waters Borrows $150M from Loan Facility
Waters has borrowed $150 million from a term loan facility that it entered into last week, the firm said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Last week also, Waters entered into the credit agreement with JPMorgan Chase Bank and other financial institutions.

Waters used the proceeds of the loan to repay amounts outstanding under the revolving tranche of its existing multi-borrower credit agreement dated Jan. 11, 2007. It said that its existing credit agreement covering a $500 million term loan facility and $650 million revolving credit facility, both of which mature on Jan. 11, 2012, remains unchanged.

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.