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Paired Ends: Dec 9, 2008

Helicos BioSciences said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission this week that its new CEO, Ronald Lowy, will perform his duties on a part-time basis and receive a salary of $240,000 per year, in addition to stock options. Stan Lapidus, chairman of Helicos’ board of directors, will receive $7,000 per month in compensation as part of a new consultant agreement.

Norrie Russell has become president and chief operating officer of NovaRx. He joins the San Diego-based biopharmaceutical company from Kalos Therapeutics, where he was president and CEO. Prior to that, he was chief scientific officer at Invitrogen. In the past, he also served as president and CEO of Aviva Biosciences and Lynx Therapeutics. Russell holds a PhD in physiology from Glasgow University in Scotland.

Ezra Van Gelder has joined Microchip Biotechnologies as executive vice president for research and development. Prior to joining MBI, Van Gelder headed instrument and reagent development for DNA and RNA sample preparation at Arcxis Biosciences. Previously, he led development for DNA sequencing and cell analysis at Molecular Dynamics, Amersham, and GE Healthcare, where he was vice president of development for the West Coast. Van Gelder holds an MS in mechanical engineering from Santa Clara University and a BS in mechanical engineering from Tel Aviv University.

READNA, a research consortium funded by the European Union (see Short Reads in this issue), has disclosed its scientific advisory board. Board members include Wilhelm Ansorge, a researcher at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland; Stephan Beck, a professor of medical genomics at the University College London Cancer Institute; George Church, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School; and Xiaoliang Sunney Xie, a professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Harvard University.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.