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NIMH Awards $161K to Cofactor Genomics to Develop Circular RNA Enrichment Kit

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Genomics services provider Cofactor Genomics has won $161,000 from the National Institute of Mental Health to develop a circular RNA enrichment kit.

The St. Louis-based company will use the Phase I Small Business Innovation Research grant to develop a standardized enrichment kit and define the reference profile for circular RNAs in the nervous system.

Circular RNA is noncoding, present in the cytoplasm, plays a role in neuronal development, and can serve as a biomarker for psychiatric disorders, according to Cofactor. In addition, circRNAs are present in lower abundance than other RNA molecules, and share sequence homology with mRNA, so they are difficult to isolate from total RNA.

"This is an opportunity to bring Cofactor's expertise in kit and software development together with our team's focus on RNA characterization solutions to develop a unique product that addresses a very specific need," Cofactor CEO Jarret Glasscock said in a statement.

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.