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US Division of Human Proteome Organization, Thermo Electron, Bruker Daltonics, Molecular Connections, Agilent Technologies, Midwest Research Institute


US Division of Human Proteome Organization to Hold First Annual Conference

The US division of the Human Proteome Organization is planning to hold its first annual conference from March 13 to 16 in Washington, D.C. The conference is entitled "Mapping the Human Proteome: From Tools to Functionality."

Organizers of the conference are currently calling for and considering abstracts, and putting together an agenda for the conference.

According to the US-HUPO website, "Topics discussed at the symposium will stretch from the development of new analytical tools and methods that enhance throughput, structural characterization, and cellular imaging to the study of functional proteomics, protein:protein interactions, post-translational modifications, recognition of stimulus associated changes in the proteomes, and bioinformatics."

More information about the conference can be found at

Thermo Posts 16-Percent Q4 Revenue Growth, Led by Life and Lab Sciences Segment

Thermo Electron last week reported a 16-percent increase in its fourth-quarter revenues, driven by a 21-percent increase in sales for its life and laboratory sciences segment.

The company reported total revenues of $613 million for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2004, up from $529 million in the fourth quarter of 2003.

The company's life and laboratory sciences segment contributed $455 million in revenues for the quarter, up sharply from $377 million in the prior-year period. This performance was in contrast to Thermo's measurement and control business segment, which posted $158 million in fourth-quarter revenues — a 4-percent increase over year-ago revenues of $152 million.

In a statement, Thermo credited "strong sales" of its mass spectrometry and molecular spectroscopy instruments, laboratory automation systems, and laboratory informatics for driving life science revenues upward. This growth, however, was slightly offset by "extremely weak sales of our rapid point-of-care test kits resulting from this year's light flu season compared with an exceptionally strong quarter in 2003."

Thermo reported fourth-quarter R&D expenses of $34.9 million, up slightly from $32.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2003.

The company reported $121 million in GAAP net income for quarter, up from $61.9 million in the year-ago period. Adjusted net income was $62.2 million in the current quarter and $55.1 million in the comparable period of 2003.

Thermo held $430.8 million in cash and cash equivalents as of Dec. 31, 2004.

Bruker to Distribute Customized Protein ID Software from GeneBio

Bruker Daltonics, a subsidiary of Bruker BioSciences, will distribute protein identification software from Geneva Bioinformatics as part of its mass spec software package, GeneBio said last week.

Under the agreement, Bruker will offer GeneBio's Phenyx protein identification platform as an option to its ProteinScape software package. Bruker will distribute a version of Phenyx that has been optimized for its mass spectrometers.

The distribution deal builds on an earlier one for another GeneBio product.

Bruker and GeneBio will also collaborate to improve Phenyx and optimize it for Bruker's mass specs and workflows.

Molecular Connections Licenses Protein-Interaction Database to Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute

Molecular Connections has licensed its NetPro protein interaction database to the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in Canada, the company said last week.

According to Bangalore, India-based Molecular Connections, the current version of NetPro contains more than 100,000 curated and annotated protein-protein interactions from published biomedical literature.

Specific terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

Agilent's Biosciences Products Get OK from Midwest Research Institute for Use in Homeland Security, Biodefense

Agilent Technologies and the Midwest Research Institute revealed last week that they have been working on a project to test Agilent's biotechnology instruments for use in biological and chemical defense research.

MRI, a leading center for biological and chemical defense research in the United States, said they have been submitting the Agilent 2100 bioanalyzer and Agilent 5100 automated lab-on-a-chip to "real-world" testing that the microarray company cannot perform in its own labs.


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.