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Helicos BioSciences, DuPont, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, NIEHS, Perlegen, Institute for Systems Biology, GeneGo

Helicos Reports Growing Net Loss in Q2 in Preparation for Product Launch
Helicos BioSciences, preparing the launch of its HeliScope next-generation sequencer later this year, reported growing losses and increasing R&D expenses for the second quarter this week.
For the quarter ended June 30, the company had $143,000 in grant revenue from the National Institutes of Health, compared to no revenues during last year’s quarter.
Research and development expenses soared to $5.3 million, up from $2.9 million during the year-ago quarter.
The company’s net loss for the quarter totaled $8.1 million, almost double the $4.1 million net loss of last year’s second quarter.
Helicos said it raised $45.7 million in net proceeds from its initial public offering in May, and an additional $3.3 million in net proceeds from the sale of 397,000 shares at the end of June, related to the exercise of an over-allotment option.
As of the June 30, Helicos had $64.3 million in cash. The company says it expects to end 2007 with approximately $40 million in cash.
"Commercial manufacturing of the HeliScope is underway, we're building the manufacturing and commercial infrastructure for product launch, which is on track to take place later this year," said president and CEO Stan Lapidus in a company statement.

DuPont, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Collaborate to Increase Crop Yield
Researchers at DuPont and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory will work on improving crops under a multi-year research agreement, the partners announced this week.
Under the program, they will study crop genetics and develop new technologies to increase yield and enhance favorable traits of corn, soybeans, and other crops.
Several teams of researchers from both organizations will make use of genomics data, trait information, and germplasm resources from Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business. Pioneer plans to commercialize innovations and technologies resulting from the collaboration.
CSHL and Pioneer have already collaborated on a number of projects over the last 10 years.
The parties did not disclose financial terms of the agreement.

NIEHS, Perlegen Resequence 15 Mouse Strains, Publish SNP Database, Haplotype Map
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and Perlegen Sciences have published results from mouse genome-resequencing and genomic-analysis studies that can be used to link genes to environmental diseases, the National Institutes of Health said this week.
In the study, scientists at Perlegen used Affymetrix oligonucleotide arrays to resequence four wild-type and eleven “classical” mouse strains and identify 8.27 million SNPs across the 15 strains.
The NIH said the arrays queried around 1.49 billion of the 2.57 billion base pairs of the C57BL/6J mouse reference strain, and the resulting data was used to create the 41,000-segment haplotype map.
“These data allow researchers to compare the genetic makeup of one mouse strain to another, and perform the necessary genetic analyses to determine why some individuals might be more susceptible to disease than another,” David Schwartz, director of the NIEHS, said in a statement.
The results of the Mouse Genome Resequencing and SNP Discovery Project appear in the July 29 issue of Nature, while haplotype maps providing data from these studies are available on the NationalCenter for Biotechnology Information’s website and a site hosted by Perlegen.
Schwartz said the information will be “a valuable resource” for the National Toxicology Program, which is an interagency program based out of the NIEHS.
“We also hope that pharmaceutical companies developing new treatments for environmental diseases will find these data and this paper as a valuable resource,” Schwartz added.

Institute for Systems Biology Licenses GeneGo's MetaCore and 1-2-3 Workflow
The Institute for Systems Biology has licensed GeneGo’s MetaCore software and its 1-2-3 Workflow, the company said last week.
Under the deal, all of ISB’s research staff will use the pathway-analysis and systems-biology tools at the facility’s labs in Seattle.
GeneGo also said it will collaborate with ISB on “several research projects,” and said Metacore will be integrated with Cytoscape, an open-source network visualization software package that ISB supports.
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

The Scan

Dropped Charges

The US Justice Department has dropped visa fraud charges against five Chinese researchers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More Kids

The Associated Press says Moderna is expanding its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine study to included additional children and may include even younger children.

PNAS Papers on Rat Clues to Human Migration, Thyroid Cancer, PolyG-DS

In PNAS this week: ancient rat genome analysis gives hints to human migrations, WDR77 gene mutations in thyroid cancer, and more.

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.