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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, UCSB, MDS Sciex, Axel Semrau, UCSF


PNNL Wins $10.2M NIH Grant for Proteomics Center

The National Institutes of Health has awarded Pacific Northwest National Laboratory $10.2 million to support a center for basic research in proteomics — the largest grant in the government lab’s history, PNNL said last week. The five-year grant designates PNNL a NIH research resource center, and will establish PNNL as a base for proteomics research worldwide. The grant will also fund the development of “advanced instrumentation” for studying proteomics.

“The award will enable PNNL staff to collaborate on important biomedical projects with top NIH-supported researchers,” Dick Smith, a Battelle Fellow at PNNL, and director of the resource center housed at PNNL’s Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, said in a statement. Specifically, the grant will help PNNL develop faster proteomics technologies, and will enable researchers there to “increase the speed and sensitivity of proteome measurements, with the aim of allowing studies of the proteins in even a single cell,” PNNL said. The grant also will support improved computational and bioinformatics tools “for extracting and visualizing and ultimately understanding” the center’s proteomic data, PNNL said.

UCSB Develops Method To Watch Proteins Fold

Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara announced last week that they had published a paper in Science in conjunction with scientists at the NIH that described a method for watching single molecules fold.

The method, called Forster Resonance Energy Transfer, uses a microfabricated silicon device and microfluidic mixing technique, as well as red and green fluorescent dyes, to visualize the process. As the protein folds, the ratios of red to green light that is emitted changes. By taking measurements throughout the process, scientists get a picture of the folding.

MDS Sciex Signs Agreement with Axel Semrau for German Distribution

MDS Sciex announced this week that it had signed an agreement with Axel Semrau to distribute Sciex’s new NanoLC system in Germany.

UCSF Scientists Characterize 80 Percent of Yeast Proteome

Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco published two papers in Nature this week describing methods they used to identify, localize, and quantitate 4,200 of the 5,500 to 6,200 proteins in the yeast proteome.

The team, led by professors Jonathan Weissman and Erin O’Shea, inserted Green Fluorescent Protein or Tandem Affinity Purification tags into the genes that encoded each protein, and then followed the glowing tagged products visually as they went about their cellular business. They looked at each protein individually in separate yeast cell lines, and were able to detect proteins at concentrations down to 50 molecules per cell.

The Scan

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.