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SGI, Mitrionics, GenomeQuest, Epicentre, Sigma-Aldrich

SGI and Mitrionics this week launched a bioinformatics tool based on Field Programmable Gate Array technology and open source software. This product is designed to “break through query logjams” created by next-generation sequencing instruments and multiple-genome studies using NCBI BLAST-n.
The new SGI RASC appliance combines SGI’s reconfigurable application-specific computing technology, an accelerated version of Mitrionics’ BLAST-n software, and the SGI Altix server platform for bioinformatics.
The companies said the software, whose list price start at $39,950, completes complex BLAST-n queries up to 16 times faster than a standard server based on Intel Itanium 2 processors, and 10 times faster than a server based on AMD Opteron processors.

GenomeQuest has launched GenomeQuest 4.0, a new, web-enabled platform for genetic sequence data search and analysis, in an attempt to expand beyond its play in gene-patent and -portfolio management information.
The new version “encourages” homologous sequence exploration and discloses annotated biochemical and cell signaling information related to sequences of interest. With Web 2.0 architecture and a new application programming interface, GenomeQuest 4.0 supports sequence search application add-ons and web application features such as RSS feeds, tags, mashups, plug-ins, and widgets.

Epicentre has released its Baseline-ZERO DNase product, which the company said creates cleaner RT-PCR results. The product digests double- and single-stranded DNA to mononucleotides “more effectively” than the commonly used bovine pancreatic DNase I, Epicentre said.

Sigma-Aldrich this week launched Your Favorite Gene, a new comprehensive, Web-based search tool that matches genes of interest against thousands of Sigma-Aldrich research products.
This search engine matches 150,000 shRNAs, 725,000 siRNAs, 4,000 antibodies, proteins, and kits, and 1,000 bioactive small molecules to specific genes of interest.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.