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Sequencing-Related NSF Grants Awarded April 10 — May 21, 2007

Microbial Genome Sequencing: Genome sequencing of Plant-associated Azospirillum brasilense.
Start date: April 1, 2006
Expires: July 31, 2008
Awarded amount to date: $447,243
Principal investigator: Igor Jouline
Sponsor: University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Funds a collaboration between the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Georgia, the University at Buffalo, and several laboratories from Australia, Canada, Belgium, France, Germany, and Israel to sequence the genome of the plant-associated bacterium Azospirillum brasilense. This bacterium has the potential to be developed as an organic fertilizer for important crops, such as wheat, rice, corn, and sorghum, according to the grant abstract. A. brasilense possesses “unique biological characteristics” that can also be used in the industrial production of biological molecules, such as anti-oxidants, the abstract states.

Microbial Genome Sequencing: Genome Sequences for Four Phototrophic Prokaryotes.
Start date: Sept. 1, 2006
Expires: June 30, 2007
Awarded amount to date: $412,651
Principal investigator: Robert Blankenship
Sponsor: Washington University
Funds a project to sequence the genomes of four photosynthetic bacteria: Heliobacterium modesticaldum, Roseobacter denitrificans, Rhodocista centenaria, and Acaryochloris marina. The genome sequences of these organisms are expected to fill “large gaps in the available genomic data for photosynthetic organisms,” according to the grant abstract.
SBIR Phase I: Genetic Data Processing for Viral Researchers and Diagnostics.
Start date: July 1, 2007
Expires: Dec. 31, 2007
Awarded amount to date: $97,637
Principal investigator: Susanna Lamers
Sponsor: BioInfoExperts
Supports development of a web-based tool for analyzing viral sequences. “Availability of a sequence analysis tool that would help investigators manipulate viral sequences and detect contaminants would be of value to researchers as well as to diagnostic laboratories,” according to the grant abstract.

The Scan

Y Chromosome Study Reveals Details on Timing of Human Settlement in Americas

A Y chromosome-based analysis suggests South America may have first been settled more than 18,000 years ago, according to a new PLOS One study.

New Insights Into TP53-Driven Cancer

Researchers examine in Nature how TP53 mutations arise and spark tumor development.

Mapping Single-Cell Genomic, Transcriptomic Landscapes of Colorectal Cancer

In Genome Medicine, researchers present a map of single-cell genomic and transcriptomic landscapes of primary and metastatic colorectal cancer.

Expanded Genetic Testing Uncovers Hereditary Cancer Risk in Significant Subset of Cancer Patients

In Genome Medicine, researchers found pathogenic or likely pathogenic hereditary cancer risk variants in close to 17 percent of the 17,523 patients profiled with expanded germline genetic testing.