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Cyntellect, Sigma-Aldrich, Gov. Deval Patrick

Cyntellect Closes $15.1M Financing Round
Cyntellect said this week that it has closed a private financing transaction that provides it with $15.1 million in venture capital.
Investors participating in the financing may also commit an additional $8.3 million.
Cyntellect said it would use the funds to hire personnel, expand its operations, accelerate development and commercialization efforts, and explore new applications of its laser-based live-cell manipulation technology.

Sigma-Aldrich Posts 13-Percent Increase in Q2 Sales Amid Rise in R&D and Profit
Sigma-Aldrich this week said second-quarter revenue increased 13 percent as R&D spending rose 8 percent and profit climbed 13 percent.
Total revenues for the three months ended June 30 increased to $508 million from $449 million year over year.
R&D spending increased to $14.5 million from $13.4 million year over year.
The company said profit increased to $79.7 million from $70.3 million in the year-ago period. 
Sigma-Aldrich said it had around $190.1 million in cash and cash equivalents as of June 30.
Looking forward, Sigma-Aldrich said it expects sales to grow around 7 percent this year.

Mass. Governor Submits $1B Life Sciences-Improvement Bill; Plan Includes New RNAiCenter
Faced with lagging employment growth and a sluggish bureaucracy, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick last week submitted a bill to the legislature that aims to spend $1 billion over 10 years to grow the state’s life-sciences sector, RNAi News’ sister publication GenomeWeb News reported this week.
The bill would also use tax incentives and investment funds to entice businesses to locate in the state, and fund the creation of an RNAi center to “highlight and build on the work” of Nobel Prize-winning researcher and RNAi pioneer Craig Mello, a professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
A spokeswoman for Dan O’Connell, Massachusetts’ secretary of housing and economic development, told RNAi News last week that details about how the RNAi center would be funded have yet to be worked out.
She added that more information is expected to be available once the life sciences funding bill has been passed. 
Patrick said in a statement that the goal for the Life Sciences Initiative, which he initially made public at the BIO 2007 conference in May, is for his state to “provide a global platform for bringing innovation from the drawing board to the market, from inspiration to commercialization, and from ideas to cure.”
That announcement came one week after a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers offered a gloomy depiction of the Massachusetts life sciences sphere, according to GenomeWeb News.

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.