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Funding Update: Apr 28, 2009

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Software and Server for Taxonomic Binning of Metagenomic Sequences

Start Date: April 15, 2009
Expires: March 31, 2010
Awarded Amount to Date: $315,723
Principal Investigator: Andrey Tovchigrechko
Sponsor: J. Craig Venter Institute

Supports the development of MGTAXA, a freely available software and a web server for taxonomic classification of metagenomic sequences with machine learning techniques. The project will build three major components: a toolbox for reliable assignment of species composition to large collections of unassembled environmental sequencing data, with automated and regular updates of databases and models; a public web server with a high-performance computational back end that will let a wide community of biologists build classification models specific to their metagenomic samples; and an online instructional environment where students and educators can combine several machine learning algorithms into graphically represented pipelines, apply them to sequences from annotated genomes, and contribute to the reusable repository of exercises and small research projects.


Complete Genome Sequencing of Four Nitrogen-fixing, Plant-associated Burkholderias

Start Date: Sept. 1, 2008
Expires: Sept. 30, 2009
Awarded Amount to Date: $304,444
Principal Investigator: George Weinstock
Sponsor: Washington University School of Medicine

The project will produce genome sequences for four plant-associated Burkholderia species: B. sp. PVA5, B. tuberum STM-678T, B. unamae MtI-641T, and B. sp. SRMrh-20. Pyrosequencing will be used to analyze the 7 million base pairs of each of these genomes. From these data, researchers will compile a complete description of the genes contained in each bacterium, analyze them for physiological mechanisms for nitrogen fixation, and compare them to other nitrogen-fixing bacteria, particularly the phylogenetically distinct rhizobia.

The Scan

Just Breathing

A new analysis suggests that most Mycobacterium tuberculosis is spread by aerosols from breathing, rather than by coughing, the New York Times reports.

Just Like This One

NPR reports that the World Health Organization has hired a South African biotech company to recreate mRNA vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 that is similar to the one developed by Moderna.

Slow Start

The Wall Street Journal reports that Biogen's Alzheimer's disease treatment had revenues for July through September that totaled $300,000.

Genome Research Papers on Cancer Chromatin, Splicing in the Thymus, Circular RNAs in Cancer

In Genome Research this week: analysis of bivalent chromatin sites, RBFOX splicing factors' role in thymic epithelial cells, and more.