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Bill Spencer, Tom Vander Ark

Bill Spencer, formerly director of worldwide system sales for 454 Life Sciences, has moved to 454’s marketing partner Roche Applied Science. At Roche, he is representing the Genome Sequencer product line in the New England area. Prior to joining 454, Spencer was director of business development at OpGen Technologies.

The X Prize Foundation has named Tom Vander Ark, the former executive director of education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as its president. The X Prize Foundation, best known for the $10 million Ansari X Prize for private spaceflight it awarded in 2004, recently announced the $10 million Archon X Prize for genomics, which will be awarded to the first private effort to sequence 100 human genomes in 10 days.
At the Gates Foundation, Vander Ark implemented more than $3.5 billion in scholarship and grant programs to improve education in the United States. Prior to joining the Gates Foundation, he served as superintendent of a school district in Washington state.

The Scan

Researchers Compare WGS, Exome Sequencing-Based Mendelian Disease Diagnosis

Investigators find a diagnostic edge for whole-genome sequencing, while highlighting the cost advantages and improving diagnostic rate of exome sequencing in EJHG.

Researchers Retrace Key Mutations in Reassorted H1N1 Swine Flu Virus With Avian-Like Features

Mutations in the acidic polymerase-coding gene boost the pathogenicity and transmissibility of Eurasian avian-like H1N1 swine influenza viruses, a PNAS paper finds.

Genome Sequences Reveal Evolutionary History of South America's Canids

An analysis in PNAS of South American canid species' genomes offers a look at their evolutionary history, as well as their relationships and adaptations.

Lung Cancer Response to Checkpoint Inhibitors Reflected in Circulating Tumor DNA

In non-small cell lung cancer patients, researchers find in JCO Precision Oncology that survival benefits after immune checkpoint blockade coincide with a dip in ctDNA levels.