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NIST, Sigma-Aldrich, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Fisher, Athena, Nanogen


NIST Extends Call for RNA Sequences

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has extended to April 28 the deadline for RNA sequence contributions to be included in its first round of testing.

The sequences, which will be used in a manner mimicking portions of typical mammalian mRNA transcripts, must be released to the public domain.

NIST is building a library of RNA reference materials as part of a program with the External RNA Controls Consortium. The library of controls is expected to lead to commercial products.

Further details on selection of sequences can be found at

Sigma-Aldrich to Provide Complementary Protocols From Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press

Sigma-Aldrich said this week that it will provide complementary protocols from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

The agreement will enable researchers to freely access a new set of protocols each month through the Featured Protocols section of, an online directory of laboratory supplies.

"Given the diversity of research tools needed to explore genomic and proteomic applications, we recognize the need for easily accessed protocols," Diane Gaige, eMarketing manager at Sigma-Aldrich, said in a statement.

The company said it will "extend [the resource] further by creating an easy-to-use materials list for each protocol."

Fisher to Acquire Athena for $283M, Buys 9-Percent Stake in Nanogen in Bid to Grow Dx Business

Aiming to increase its presence in molecular diagnostics, Fisher Scientific said last week it will acquire privately held Athena Diagnostics and has paid $15 million in cash for a 9-percent stake in Nanogen.

Fisher will pay Athena owner Behrman Capital $283 million for the company, which makes immunohistochemical and molecular diagnostics for neurological, nephrologic, and endocrine diseases, such as Alzheimer's, multiple sclerosis, obesity, and kidney disease.

Terms of the Nanogen equity investment calls for Fisher to buy approximately 5.7 million shares of Nanogen common stock at $2.65 per share, Nanogen said in a separate statement today. The shares closed at $2.52 on the Nasdaq Exchange the day before the acquisition and investment were disclosed, meaning that Fisher paid a 5-percent premium for its stake.

The Scan

Alzheimer's Risk Gene Among Women

CNN reports that researchers have found that variants in MGMT contribute to Alzheimer's disease risk among women but not men.

Still Hanging Around

The Guardian writes that persistent pockets of SARS-CoV-2 in the body could contribute to long COVID.

Through a Little Spit

Enteric viruses like norovirus may also be transmitted through saliva, not just the fecal-oral route, according to New Scientist.

Nature Papers Present Method to Detect Full Transcriptome, Viruses Infecting Asgard Archaea, More

In Nature this week: VASA-seq approach to detect full transcriptome, analysis of viruses infecting Asgard archaea, and more.