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NIST, Inca, Biosite, Waters, Rosetta, Miraculins

NIST Issues Its First Peptide Reference Material
The National Institute of Standards and Technology last week made available its first reference material for measuring peptide mass and concentrations in biosamples. The material is meant to be a standard by which researchers can compare and measure their own findings.
The material was developed by the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities in collaboration with NIST and consists of three peptides from 11, 14, and 26 amino acid residues in length, with net charges of minus-3, minus-1, and plus-3.
To increase stability, the peptides do not contain methionine, cysteine, or tryptophan. They contain a range of protease cleavage sites and tyrosine for accurate concentration analysis. The set of the peptides costs $398.
Additional details about the reference material and how to purchase sample can be found here.

Inverness Subsidiary, Inca, Offers $92.50 Per Share for Biosite
Inverness Medical Innovations said this week its wholly owned subsidiary, Inca Acquisition, commenced its tender offer for all outstanding shares of Biosite’s common stock at $92.50 per share.
Inverness and Biosite agreed to a merger two weeks ago.
As stipulated under the merger agreement, Biosite shareholders will receive $.015205 per share per day beginning on July 3 if the deal does not close by that date. Unless the deadline is extended, the offer by Inverness and any withdrawal rights held by Biosite shareholders expires at midnight, June 26.

Waters, Rosetta Collaborate on MS Software Integration
Waters and Rosetta Biosoftware plan to develop interfaces that will make Rosetta's software compatible with two of Waters' mass spectrometers, the companies said this week.
Terms of the deal call for the companies to make Rosetta Biosoftware's Elucidator software for protein expression data management work with Waters' Q-Tof Premier and Synapt high-definition mass spectrometers.
The resulting compatibility will allow Waters customers to "take advantage of our mass spec technologies to comprehensively analyze the results of their most demanding experiments," said Tim Riley, vice president and managing director of Waters’ pharmaceutical business, in a statement.

Miraculins Says its Test May Eliminate 23 Percent of Unnecessary Prostate Cancer Biopsies
In final results from its prostate cancer biomarker study, Miraculins said this week its pre-prostate cancer biomarker diagnostic would have eliminated 23 percent of unnecessary biopsies.
In addition, its test identified 93 percent of patients who were true positives for prostate cancer and needed to be scheduled for a biopsy.
The Winnipeg, Manitoba-based company is in the process of developing biomarker diagnostics for several cancers. Its prostate cancer study, PCSC04, was begun in November 2006 and included 200 pre-prostate biopsy patients.
Miraculins said the latest results are consistent with preliminary results announced by the company in March. The test’s sensitivity and specificity are expected to improve when an ELISA-based test format is fully developed, it said in a statement.
The study included three separate urine collection methods, including prior to digital rectal examination, or DRE, post-DRE, and 24-hour collection.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.