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Robert Hayes, Elaine Mardis, Theodore Martin, Carolyn Slayman, James Tobin, Tony White, James MacDonald, John Mayberry, Robert Bender, Russell Phares, Jean Bellin

Applied Biosystems said this week in a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission that it has accepted the retirements of six board members effective immediately following the completion of its merger with Invitrogen.
The members are Robert Hayes; Elaine Mardis; Theodore Martin; Carolyn Slayman; James Tobin; and Tony White.
The $6.7 billion merger is expected to close this week. The combined company will be called Life Technologies.

MDS this week appointed James MacDonald chairman of its board effective immediately. He replaces John Mayberry who resigned from the board citing other business obligations.
MacDonald has been on MDS’ board since 2005 and is a member of its audit committee. He is chairman and managing partner of Enterprise Capital Management. Prior to 1997, he was deputy chairman of Scotia McLeod. He is also a director of Cinram International Income Fund, Cymbria, Manitoba Telecom Services, and Superior Plus, and is the non-executive chairman of Cormark Securities.

Advanced Proteome Therapeutics this week announced Robert Bender and Russell Phares resigned from its board on Oct. 11.
No reasons were given for their departure.
Also effective Oct. 17, Jean Bellin became the chairman of APT’s audit committee. Bellin is president of Metagenics. Before that he was CEO of Mountain View Pharmaceuticals. He currently is on the board of KV Pharmaceutical.

The Scan

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.

Study Explores Animated Digital Message Approach to Communicate Genetic Test Results to Family Members

In the Journal of Genetic Counseling, the approach showed promise in participants presented with a hypothetical scenario related to a familial hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome diagnosis.

Computational Tool Predicts Mammalian Messenger RNA Degradation Rates

A tool called Saluki, trained with mouse and human messenger RNA data, appears to improve mRNA half-life predictions by taking RNA and genetic features into account, a Genome Biology paper reports.

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.