Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

John Rossi, Craig Venter


Benitec said last week that it has named John Rossi as chairman of its scientific advisory board.

Rossi is currently director of the Department of Molecular Biology and dean of the Graduate School of Biological Sciences of the Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope Cancer Center. He received his PhD and conducted his post-doctoral studies at Brown University Medical School.

“Dr. Rossi has great depth of knowledge in those areas of greatest interest to Benitec,” John McKinley, Benitec’s chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

According to the Australian company, Rossi’s work has included the design of catalytic RNAs/ribozymes to inhibit HIV infection, and clinical testing of ribozyme genes transduced into hematopoietic stem cells for autologous transplant in HIV-infected patients. His current work involves enhancing the intracellular efficacy of ribozymes and RNA decoys via RNA trafficking and target localization approaches.

Craig Venter announced at the Genome Sequencing Analysis Conference a $500,000 Genomic Technology Prize to be awarded by the J. Craig Venter Science Foundation to a person or organization that develops technology "to significantly advance" automated DNA sequencing toward making the $1,000 genome a reality.

The prize is to be awarded one time only. The foundation will announce the complete rules and procedures for prize applications in late December 2003.

The Scan

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.

Study Tracks Outcomes in Children Born to Zika Virus-Infected Mothers

By following pregnancy outcomes for women with RT-PCR-confirmed Zika virus infections, researchers saw in Lancet Regional Health congenital abnormalities in roughly one-third of live-born children.

Team Presents Benchmark Study of RNA Classification Tools

With more than 135 transcriptomic datasets, researchers tested two dozen coding and non-coding RNA classification tools, establishing a set of potentially misclassified transcripts, as they report in Nucleic Acids Research.

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.