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SwissProt Colonizes North Carolina, ABI Reports Overall Drop in Sales


SwissProt Colonizes North Carolina with Expasy

As its first outpost in the new world, the Swiss Institute for Bioinformatics has made the North Carolina Supercomputing Center its official US mirror site for the ExPASy proteomics server, the SIB said last week.

The arrangement requires NCSC to provide a dedicated Sun server that SIB will use to remotely install, maintain, and upgrade its software tools and databases. Through ExPASy, (, users have access to SWISS-PROT, the database of protein sequence information, and TrEMBL, its computer-annotated supplement.

The NCSC mirror site is already connected to the internet with a high-speed Internet2 connection. Besides Switzerland, the other ExPASy sites are in Australia, Canada, China, Korea, and Taiwan.


ABI Reports Overall Drop in Sales, but Mass Specs Rise

Citing a shift away from big biology, and an “uncertain” economic outlook, Applied Biosystems reported a 4 percent drop in instrument sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2002, judged against the comparable period in 2001.

Net revenues were essentially unchanged from the second quarter of fiscal 2001, moving up to $411.1 million from $411 million. But the Foster City, Calif.-based company’s net income fell to $51.2 million during the fourth quarter of 2001 from $56.0 million during the comparable quarter in 2000. ABI attributed the decrease in income to higher R&D expenses, which rose 26 percent year-over-year to $52.7 million.

Although sales of ABI’s DNA sequencers dropped sharply, sales of the company’s mass spectrometers experienced robust growth. “Revenues from mass spectrometry systems increased approximately 25 percent, led by the new API 4000 mass spectrometer, which continues to penetrate the drug metabolism market,” Michael Hunkapiller, ABI’s president, said in a statement.

Separately, Celera reported revenues of $35 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2002, up from $20.3 million in the comparable quarter a year ago. The company attributed the increase to new subscriptions to Celera Discovery System.

However, Celera’s net loss rose sharply to $117.9 million, or $1.82 per share, from $29.7 million, or $0.49 per share, during the comparable period last year, primarily because of a $99 million one-time charge associated with the acquisition of Axys Pharmaceuticals. At the end of December, the company had $941 million in cash and short-term investments.