Bio Saga Headlines

Bio Saga

Thursday, March 27, 2014

NCBI Seeks Community's Input on Planned Blast Update

The National Center for Biotechnology Information is asking for the bioinformatics community's input on a proposed Blast XMLspecification update planned for release in the summer of 2014.
The update, according to the development team, is intended to improve the consistency of the Blast output with XML standards as well as put in place new and useful elements.
Blast XML users can submit their feedback at this link.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Look Who's Talking Too? It's SAP too talking on Genomics!

SAP has unveiled an early version of a new standalone application based on its SAP Hana in-memory database technology called Medical Insights that integrates and analyzes clinical and genomic data to help oncologists make better treatment decisions for patients.

In addition, SAP has announced a partnership with Canadian firm PHEMI Health Systems to build a solution that would make it possible to provide more personalized treatments for HIV patients.

SAP disclosed the development of both products at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference held this week in Orlando. It is hoping to secure additional early adopters for the newly minted Medical Insights software which it plans to bring to market later this year. The company is still mulling pricing details.

Participants in the company's early access program will have the chance to test and give feedback on a solution that leverages the Hana infrastructure to extract, integrate, and query both structured and unstructured information from tumor and biomarker repositories, patients' electronic medical records, physician's notes, and more. SAP developed the app in conjunction with the German National Center for Tumor Diseases, which is using it internally for testing purposes. By announcing the program at HIMSS this week, SAP hopes to woo a much broader variety of clinical research centers, labs, and hospitals who would be willing to test and validate the system for cancer and other disease applications before it's made broadly available, Enakshi Singh, an SAP product manager for genomics and healthcare said.

Do you wish to know more?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Neverending Story Sequel! PerkinElmer's Layoff Story Neverending!

In continuation to BioSaga's pursuit to cover the PerkinElmer's Layoff Saga The Layoffs Continue... The story now is never-ending, here is the latest!


PerkinElmer reduced its headcount by 74 employees in the fourth quarter of 2013, bringing the total headcount reduction during the year to 430, it disclosed in its Form 10K filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.


During the fourth quarter, the company approved a restructuring plan to shift certain R&D activity resources to a newly opened Center for Innovation, resulting in the 74 layoffs. All employees were notified of their termination by Dec. 29, 2013.


A total of $3.9 million was recorded in severance payments related to the layoffs in Q4 2013, PerkinElmer said, adding remaining severance payments of $2.0 million for workforce reductions will be "substantially completed" by the end of Q2 2014.


The company had previously disclosed it laid off 30 employees in Q3; 265 employees in Q2; and 62 employees in Q1, bringing the number of workers it terminated in 2013 to 430. As of Dec. 29, 2013 it had about 7,600 employees, it said.


In 2012, PerkinElmer cut its workforce by 437 employees.
It also said in its Form 10K that in 2013 the company acquired four businesses for a total of $11.4 million in cash. PerkinElmer did not disclose the names of the acquired businesses.
The company reported a 4 percent increase year over year in revenues for its fourth quarter last month. Revenues for full-year 2013 rose about 2 percent year over year to $2.17 billion.


The Neverending Story (German: Die unendliche Geschichte) is a German fantasy novel by Michael Ende, first published in 1979. The standard English translation, by Ralph Manheim, was first published in 1983. The novel was later adapted into several films.





Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Genetic Search for Future Olympians!

This is really getting interesting, BioSaga is making history as we keep blogging!


The GATTACA SAGA! is coming to an reality! The Race has just begun! today for Olympian Genes; tomorrow may be for a pianist with pair of hands with 6 fingers each! 

There is now no limt to the human imagination there could be a new profession  as GENE ARCHITECT or a GENOME SCULPTOR! 

Beginning in 2015, Uzbekistan says it will incorporate genetic testing into its search for Olympic athletes, the Atlantic reports.

Rustam Muhamedov from Uzbekistan's Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry's genetics laboratory notes that he and his colleagues have been studying the genes of Uzbek athletes and are working on developing a set of 50 genes to determine what sport a child is best suited for.
"Developed countries throughout the world like the United States, China, and European countries are researching the human genome and have discovered genes that define a propensity for specific sports," Muhamedov tells the Atlantic. "We want to use these methods in order to help select our future champions."

The Atlantic notes that while the International Olympic Committee and international sports organizations do not ban genetic testing, the World Anti-Doping Agency discourages it.
In addition, David Epstein, the author of the book The Sports Gene, says that officials and trainers would likely better identify potential world-class athletes by using a stopwatch and timing how fast people are.

"It doesn't make much sense to do it at the genetic level at this point," Epstein tells the Atlantic. "What they are trying to do is learn about someone's physiology. If you want to learn about someone's physiology, you should test their physiology instead of the genes."


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Program Initiated to Offer Whole-Exome Sequencing to Rare Disease Patients for Free

One more story in our very own GATTACA SAGA!

Patient advocacy groups Global Genes and Swan USA announced on Tuesday a program to provide whole-exome sequencing to patients with rare diseases who cannot afford such services.

Beginning March 1, Global Genes and Swan USA will provide funding for the whole-exome sequencing of about 30 undiagnosed patients in order to identify the genetic bases of their ailments. Parabase Genomics and the UCLA Clinical Genomics Center were selected as the first clinical genomic sequencing providers for the pilot project.

Global Genes is a rare and genetic disease patient advocacy group, and Swan USA provides support to families of children living with diseases and syndromes that have yet to be named. According to them, a genomic test costs between $3,500 and $5,000.

The financing for the program was raised through a donor-directed fund launched in September, and additional funding is underway in order to expand the program to include more undiagnosed patients, the partners said.

Boston-based Parabase is a privately held molecular diagnostics firm focused on genetic disorders that affect newborns and children. Its LifeTime Tests provide a rapid, non-invasive method for the diagnosis of genetic conditions, and for the Global Gene-Swan USA program Parabase will use it LifeTime RareDx Test.

"One of the challenges with translation of next-generation sequencing to newborns and children is the long time it takes to get results," Parabase CEO and Scientific Director Andy Bhattachariee said in a statement. "We have developed a complete workflow from blood to a medical report in [two to four] weeks, and our plan is to shorten this timeline to a few days."

The UCLA Clinical Genomics Center is the West Coast sequencing provider in the program.

Life Science and Informatics

What is this?
is this a new industry?
or a old wine in a new bottle?

Well Life Sciences and Informatics can be anything form computational biology, all omes and omics, core bioinformatics to curation and literature mining, database creation, in the area of biology, chemistry , bio-chem space.

There are number of companies in India and bangalore is the forefront as a major bio-cluster with 20 to 30 companies in this sphere.

now how good are these companies doing?
how good are they in terms of the international markets and how profitable is their business?
what do they do?
their clients?

These are some interesting things that could be discussed in this blog page...

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