Japan’s Rigaku/MSC Swallows Structural Proteomics Tools Shop RoboDesign
Rigaku/MSC, a Japanese tools company, has acquired RoboDesign International, RoboDesign said last week.
RoboDesign specializes in biotech and lab automation equipment and robotics and will become Rigaku/MSC’s newest subsidiary.
The firm said Rigaku/MSC plans to use its protein crystallization growth, storage, retrieval, and imaging technologies to complement its existing initiatives, which include the development of software and robotic crystallography solutions.
RoboDesign will continue to operate out of Carlsbad, Calif. Keith Crane, senior vice president of Rigaku/MSC’s US operations in The Woodlands, Texas, will become RoboDesign’s new president and chief operating officer.
RoboDesign previously had a distribution partnerhsip with Rigaku/MSC, under which it sold protein crystal analysis systems to the University of Nottingham and European Molecular Biology Laboratory last year.
Agilent and Bruker Extend Their Proteomics Collaboration
Agilent Technologies and Bruker Daltonics have extended by several years their ion trap mass spectrometry collaboration and liquid chromatography/capillary electrophoresis OEM agreement, the companies said last week.
The amended ITMS collaboration “extends the ion trap-development cooperation, the continued supply of mass spectrometry parts and components from Agilent to Bruker Daltonics, and the end-product manufacturing by Bruker Daltonics of each company’s respective ITMS product lines,” the firms said.
The deal also enables Bruker Daltonics, an operating company of Bruker BioSciences, to continue incorporating Agilent’s atmospheric pressure ionization sources into its line of MS products.
The agreement also “facilitates the introduction of each company’s ion trap HCT Ultra and XCT Ultra mass spectrometers.”
The extended LC/CE OEM agreement, meantime, “provides for Bruker’ ongoing distribution of specific Agilent separation products,” including its 1100 Series liquid chromatograph and capillary electrophoresis equipment.
Under the extended agreement, Bruker “may also now OEM the current version of Agilent’s revolutionary new HPLC-Chip/MS products with the compatible Bruker Daltonics ITMS and FTMS products.”
Oxford Genome Sciences to Evaluate Bayer Diagnostics’ Breast Cancer Biomarkers
Oxford Genome Sciences will use its proteomics platform and its Oxford Genome Anatomy Project to evaluate biomarkers linked to breast cancer for Bayer HealthCare’s diagnostics division, the companies said this week.
Though financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, Bayer said it “has committed program funding” to Oxford, and agreed to performance-related payments upon achieving certain milestones.
Bayer HealthCare hopes this research will help it discover and develop therapeutic and diagnostic products for breast cancer.
According to Oxford, the OGAP proteomics database has more than 1 million peptide sequences from approximately 50 different tissues involved in almost 60 different diseases mapped onto 15,000 human genes.
Max Planck Researchers Sequence Fossil Protein From Neanderthal Found in Iraqi Cave
An international team led by researchers in the department of human evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology have extracted and sequenced protein from a Neanderthal found in the Shanidar Cave in Iraq. The Neanderthal is approximately 75,000 year old, and the fossil protein is the oldest ever sequenced, according to the Max Planck Institute.
The research team, led by Christina Nielsen-Marsh and Matthew Collins, used an Applied Biosystems 4700 Proteomics Analyzer to sequence bone protein from the Neanderthal. They found that the sequence is the same as the homologous sequence in humans, except for at amino acid position nine, where a hydoxyproline is replaced by a proline in the Neanderthal.
In their paper, published in the this week’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, the researchers suggested that the difference in sequence may be a dietary response, because the formation of hydroxyproline requires vitamin C, which is ample in diets of herbivores like gorillas, but may be absent from the diets of omnivorous primates like humans, Neanderthals, orangutans and chimpanzees. Therefore, the ability to form proteins without the presence of vitamin C may have been an advantage to this Neanderthal, the researchers postulated.