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August 8, 2007

The Genome Structural Variation Consortium, a group of applied genomics researchers from the U.S., U.K., and Canda, has kicked off Phase 2 of an effort to create a high-resolution map of copy number variations linked to diseases in humans. The consortium completed a first-generation draft of these CNVs in 2006, but hopes that new technology from NimbleGen Systems — including high-density microarrays and new computer algorithms — will enable it to develop a CNV map that is 100-fold finer that the first version.

Roche has acquired NimbleGen Systems for $272.5 million. NimbleGen’s microarray products complement Roche’s ongoing genomics campaigns, says Roche Diagnostics CEO Severin Schwan. NimbleGen will become a fully integrated part of Roche Applied Science, a global business area of the Diagnostic Division of Roche.

Yale University School of Medicine and 454 Life Sciences have collaborated to use 454 sequencing technology to identify previously undetectable drug-resistant HIV variants at an early stage. Authors say that while current genotyping technology can detect resistance mutations at levels of 20 percent or greater, 454 sequencing is able to make detections at 1 percent.

AstraZeneca signed a $1.4 billion, seven-year renewal agreement of an existing six-year collaboration with IBM. IBM provides a single global technical infrastructure, managing IT services for AstraZeneca in 60 countries, while AstraZeneca retains control of its overall IT strategy and the development and support of its application systems.

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