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Feb. 1, 2008

Researchers at the George Mason University Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine have announced a nanotechnology tool that may make protein biomarkers easier to identify. The smart hydrogel nanoparticles mix with a patient’s blood sample to “suck up” protein biomarkers from blood and preserve, protect, and stabilize the molecule. Scientists are currently applying the technology to cancer and other diseases.

Genizon BioSciences has closed its Series E financing to the tune of approximately $31 million. The new investment will be partially used to fund additional genome-wide association studies in the four major diseases associated with metabolic syndrome: obesity, type II diabetes, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. The lead investor is BTF B.V. of Haarlem, The Netherlands.

The Autism Consortium used the new Affymetrix 5.0 chip to scan the genomes of more than 3,000 individuals, about half of which have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The scan resulted in compelling evidence that a region on chromosome 16 appears to play an important role in ASD susceptibility. The findings were verified by independent observations at Children’s Hospital Boston and deCODE Genetics.

Illumina has settled all ongoing lawsuits with a $90 million payment to Affymetrix. Both firms have agreed not to sue for use of current and future products. The litigation surrounded Affy’s claim that Illumina’s products infringed on patents, and were originally filed in the U.S., U.K., and Germany in 2004.

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