Bio Saga Headlines

Bio Saga

Monday, October 26, 2009

Becton Dickinson Acquires HandyLab

Becton Dickinson has signed a definitive agreement to acquire molecular diagnostics firm HandyLab for an undisclosed sum.

HandyLab sells the Jaguar molecular diagnostics system, which incorporates clinical sample preparation, nucleic acid extraction, microfluidic real-time PCR amplification and detection. The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based firm launched the system in November 2008.

BD said that it plans to place its BD GeneOhm assays for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium difficile, and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus on the HandyLab platform and market them as the new BD Max system.

The acquisition follows an alliance between the firms begun earlier this year aimed at placing the GeneOhm tests on the Jaguar system.

"We believe this new platform enables both our healthcare-associated infections offering and future expansion into other molecular opportunities," BD President Vincent Forlenza said in a statement.

BD said that it will provide more information on the acquisition during its fiscal fourth-quarter conference call on Nov. 4.



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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

SAAS product startup from India XTractor

Was going through a recent blog on indiblogger about the NASSCOM Product Conclave. Where this time is themed and focused on SAAS & related services.

In the recent times SAAS or Software as a Service has even captured the attention of Life Science and biomedical community globally. Indian Life Sciences Informatics Company, Molecular Connections' year old SAAS product startup is www.XTractor.in. In July 2008 came of with a commercial version of the product XTractor Premium- expert curated biomedical discovery, analysis and knowledge modeling platform, based on semantic curation and annotation of biomedical facts from PubMed. Has very handy analytics to search and narrow down the most relevant facts, build and discover relationships between biomedical facts check out some of the user CaseStudies.

XTractor Premium knowledgebase currently contains 302,269 relationships categorized on 24 categories Gene-Gene , Gene-Drug , Gene-Disease , Gene-Process , Gene-Mutation/Polymorphism, Drug Disease , Gene Knock-out/RNAi, Gene Pathways , Drug Process , Disease Process , Biomarker/Marker Disease , Prognosis, Diagnosis, Therapeutic or Therapy, Clinical Trials, Drug Bioavailability , Drug clearance , Drug Dosage , Drug-Drug , Disease-Disease , Drug Pharmacokinetics , Drug toxicity , Drug route of administration , Drug pharmacodynamics.

The platform has a recently completed an seamless link-out integration with NCBI EntrezGene.

XTractor Premium - A Platform for discovery, knowledge sharing, analysis and modelling of published biomedical facts.







Monday, October 19, 2009

DBT invites positions for Directors/Deans

DEPARTMENT OF BIOTECHNOLOGY
Ministry of Science and Technology
Govt of India

TRANSLATIONAL HEALTH SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE
(Autonomous Institute and Part of NCR Bio-medical Science Cluster)
Present location at the National Institute of Immunology
JNU Complex, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi 110 067

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND DEANS

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Entrez Gene outlink Integration for XTractor

Entrez gene is the most widely used data resource for Gene based information worldwide. To enable researchers to obtain high quality manually annotated information from XTractor when they search for a Gene on Entrez Gene, we are now providing direct links from Entrez Gene records to corresponding Gene Reports in XTractor.

To use this outlinked option- when in Entrez Gene, for any human gene select the “Link Out” option from the Display menu in Entrez Gene and click on the XTractor link. You will be taken directly to the XTractor graphical report for the Gene of interest and also manually annotated facts on the associated Diseases, Drugs and the Biological Processes for the Gene.

Entrez Outlink
http://www.xtractor.in/ncbiSearch.do?xid=XT_15377&symbol=BRCA1



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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

'Omics Projects Snag More than $625M Worth of NIH Stimulus Grants

The National Institutes of Health has awarded 970 stimulus grants worth more than $625 million — around 14 percent of total NIH stimulus grant funding to date — to projects that fall within the broad family of 'omics disciplines, according to a preliminary analysis of the NIH funding database conducted by GenomeWeb Daily News.

As of Sept. 30, the close of the fiscal year, the National Institutes of Health had awarded a total of $5 billion in stimulus funding — nearly half of the $10 billion appropriation that NIH will disburse over two years under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The $5 billion figure includes both grants and contracts, however. For grants alone, NIH had awarded approximately $4.4 billion via 12,789 ARRA grants as of Oct. 7, according to the database.

The 970 grants awarded to 'omics projects comprise 7.5 percent of the stimulus grants awarded so far, but the total funding awarded to these projects makes up 14 percent of NIH ARRA grant funding to date.

The largest share of grants — 194 — went to bioinformatics and computational biology projects, for a total of $92.4 million in funding.

Sequencing projects snagged the most amount of total funding, however, with 88 grants worth $129.8 million.

Those disciplines were followed by:

• projects and centers focused on translational research and systems biology, which garnered 148 grants totaling $100 million;
• proteomics projects — including instrumentation grants for mass spectrometers and nuclear magnetic resonance systems — which were awarded 141 grants totaling $57.2 million;
• projects that involved RNAi, microRNAs, and other non-coding RNAs, which snagged 93 awards worth a total of $29 million;
• pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine projects, which were granted 80 awards worth $45.2 million;
• biochips and microarrays — excluding genome-wide association studies — which netted 63 awards worth $33.3 million;
• GWAS studies, which were awarded 28 grants worth $42.8 million;
• epigenomics projects, which received 38 awards totaling $26.1 million;
• metabolomics studies, which garnered 11 grants worth a total of $5.5 million; and
• metagenomics efforts, which received 8 grants worth $6.9 million.

There were 134 grants, worth a total of $113.6 million, awarded to genomics projects that did not fall into any of the above categories (see below for a breakout of the number of grants and the funding amounts awarded to each discipline).

The research institutes that picked up the lion's share of the 970 'omics awards were the University of Washington, with 27 grants worth $24.3 million; Harvard/Harvard Medical School with 26 grants worth $19.8 million; and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and Stanford University with 22 grants each worth $18.7 million and $11.8 million, respectively.

The University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, and Brigham and Women's hospital were each awarded 19 'omics grants, worth $22.1 million, $10.7 million, and $12.5 million respectively.

The Broad Institute, which was awarded 14 'omics stimulus grants, snagged the most total funding, with $33 million.

The largest single 'omics stimulus award, worth $12.2 million, went to Eric Boerwinkle at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center for a project entitled, "Building on GWAS for NHLBI-Diseases: The CHARGE Consortium."

Other 'omics awards in the double-digit million range went to Wash U, which received $10 million for "Center for Large-Scale Genome Sequencing and Analysis;" the Broad Institute, which received $10.2 million for "Comprehensive Sequencing and Analysis of Variation in NHLBI Cohorts;" and the University of Washington, which received $11 million for "Northwest Genomics Center."

The average amount for 'omics stimulus awards was $644,807, compared to an average of $340,524 for all NIH ARRA awards.


arra_awards.jpg




arra_funding.jpg

Editor's note: the number of grants and total funding in the subcategories is greater than the 970 grants and $625 million cited in the article due to some grants being counted in more than one category.



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Thursday, October 1, 2009

Obama, Collins Laud $5B in NIH Stimulus Funds, Much for Genomics

The National Institutes of Health has awarded more than 12,000 grants totaling around $5 billion so far under the economic recovery and stimulus package, the White House said today.

President Barack Obama commuted to Bethesda this morning to announce the funding as a milestone, to unveil a $175 million grant for cancer genomics, and to tour the NIH campus.

In late-morning speeches before a crowd of NIH staff, President Obama, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and NIH Director Francis Collins loosely outlined how the $5 billion in grants over two years — nearly half of NIH’s total $10 billion appropriation under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — will stimulate research and create jobs.

A number of genomics-focused programs will be funded under the stimulus package, including $175 million over two years for The Cancer Genome Atlas, a joint effort between the National Human Genome Research Institute and the National Cancer Institute, according to a fact sheet released today by the White House.

“This ambitious effort promises to open new windows into the biology of all cancers, transform approaches to cancer research, and raise the curtain on a more personalized era of cancer care,” Collins said in a statement, describing the TCGA funding as “an excellent example of how the Recovery Act is fueling discoveries that will fundamentally change the way we fight disease and improve our lives.

"We are about to see a quantum leap in our understanding of cancer," Collins said.

NCI and NHGRI will also each commit $50 million in non-Recovery Act funds to the Genome Atlas over this two-year period, according to NCI.

"We know that this kind of investment will also lead to new jobs: tens of thousands of jobs conducting research, manufacturing and supplying medical equipment, and building and modernizing laboratories and research facilities," Obama said in a statement.

At the event, Collins told the NIH assembly that the grants "will fund trailblazing research into treating and preventing our most scary diseases.

“Since arriving [at NIH] six weeks ago I’ve spent a lot of time reviewing some of these grants — I wanted to see what was there — and they propose some of the most innovative and creative directions for research that I have ever seen in 16 years at NIH,” the new NIH director told the crowd.

More than $1 billion of the grant funding is dedicated to using technologies developed through the NIH’s genomics programs, specifically through the Human Genome Project, the White House said.

For cancer, heart disease, and many other areas, researchers will use Recovery Act funding for genomics and genetics-based research approaches to pursue knowledge about these diseases.

According to the White House, over the two years of recovery funding NIH stimulus grants will support studies including:

• Seeking to use microRNAs to predict which patients have tumors that will spread throughout the body;

• Conducting genomic sequencing of individuals with autism and their parents in order to find causes for the disease in the genome and in the environment and to develop and test diagnostic screening tools;

• Cataloging genetic changes associated with oral cancer in order to identify and guide treatment of pre-malignant lesions;

• Sequencing the genomes of more than 10,000 individuals with known risk factors for heart disease in order to identify those risk genes;

• Comparing the genomes of individuals with high and low HDL cholesterol levels in order to accelerate development of drugs that reduce the risk of heart attack;

• Examining the genes of more than 7,000 heart failure patients to identify variants that will enable doctors to identify those at risk for heart failure;

• Identifying genetic markers for increased risk of hypertension, obesity, cardiac hypertrophy, and kidney failure in African Americans;

• Finding markers that circulate in the blood that may signal the onset of a plaque rupture or of thrombosis;

• Analyzing biomarker and genetic data from international atrial fibrillation patient pools in search of markers to identify patients that will benefit from statin therapy.


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Search Engines, Genomics, Medical Literature: Tag Clouds come to PubMed via LigerCat

LigerCat is a search tool for NCBI’s PubMed that uses tag clouds to provide an overview of important concepts and trends. LigerCat aggregates multiple articles in PubMed, summing their MeSH descriptors and presenting them in a cloud, weighted by frequency “.

LigerCat is an abbreviation for Literature and Genomics Resource Catalog, which is a free PubMed search tool developed in 2009 as part of the Biology of Aging project at the MBLWHOI Library at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory.

LigerCat is great news for geneticists or anyone involved in translational research, a fairly effortless means of data mining for dynamic links to a very complex literature.

LigerCat can be used to search in several ways: 1) to locate and select a list of individual journal titles indexed in PubMed, 2) search using terms from the National Library of Medicine’s Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) list, 3) search using keywords, 4) search on Genes found in the NCBI databases.

Do you want to know more?

for more reading:

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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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