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Open Biosystems, University College London, Hospital for Sick Kids, Asuragen, Yale University, Nastech Pharmaceutical

Open Biosystems Adds Two New Institutions to Open Access Program
Open Biosystems said this week that University College London and the Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto have purchased access to its shRNAmir technologies for RNAi by joining its Open Access RNAi Program.
Specific terms of the arrangements were not disclosed.
Established in 2006, the Open Access Program is designed to make Open Biosystems’ genome-wide shRNA libraries more available to the research community (see RNAi News, 2/2/2006).
Current participants in the Open Access program include Baylor College of Medicine, the University of Minnesota, the Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins University, Australia's Peter MacCullum Cancer Centre, Northwestern University, and the University of Manitoba.

Asuragen, Yale Team Publish Data Linking miRNA to Lung Cancer Suppression
Asuragen this week announced the publication of data showing that a specific microRNA, let-7, reduced cancer growth in mouse models of lung cancer.
The study, which was conducted by Asuragen and Yale University School of Medicine researchers, appears in Cell Cycle.
“We believe that our studies provide the first direct evidence in mammals that let-7 functions as a tumor suppressor gene and that this is the first report of a miRNA being used to a beneficial effect on any cancer,” Frank Slack, a Yale researcher and senior author on the paper, said in a statement. “Our work is particularly noteworthy given that the let-7 miRNA inhibits the development of lung cancer, the deadliest of all cancers worldwide.”
About a year ago, Asuragen signed a deal to acquire exclusive access to inventions developed by Slack related to the use of miRNAs to regulate oncogenes (see RNAi News, 1/11/2007).

Nastech Auditor Files Going Concern Qualification
Nastech Pharmaceutical last week reported that it received a going concern qualification from its public accounting firm, KPMG.
The qualification, which expressed the accounting firm’s concern about Nastech’s ability to continue operations, was included in the drug developer’s annual report filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Nastech has been struggling recently after a key collaborator terminated a non-RNAi drug partnership, which battered its stock and forced the company to reconsider spinning out its RNAi drug assets (see RNAi News, 3/20/2008).

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.