Tuesday, November 20, 2012    |    
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THIS WEEK IN BIO-IT WORLD 

Natera's Prenatal Secret Sauce
Bio-IT World | When it comes to prenatal testing, it’s a numbers game. Low risk, hormone-based tests are unreliable. The tests have false positive rates of 5%, which means over 120,000 women each year get positive results—high risk results—leading to high stress situations and unnecessary amniocenteses. The flip side is a false negative rate of 15%. Women get the all clear, when in fact something is wrong. Jonathan Sheena, Natera’s Chief Technology Officer, minces no words. “Those numbers are not suitable for this century.” Read More 

Gen9 Announces Winners of Synthetic DNA Contest
Bio-IT World | Gen9, a developer of scalable technologies for synthesizing and assembling DNA, today announced the five winners of its inaugural G-Prize contest. Collectively, the awardees stand to receive more than 1 million base pairs of DNA manufactured with Gen9’s unique next-generation gene synthesis technology. Read More 

ELSEWHERE IN THE NEWS 

Genomic Sequencing for Newborns Wins Brigham and Women's Prize
Spoonful of Medicine | Brigham and Women's $100,000 BRIght Futures Prize was awarded to clinical geneticist Robert Green and his project to explore how best to integrate genomic sequencing into routine medical care for healthy newborns. The contest presented three well-vetted finalists to the public and let the winner be chosen by an online vote. Read More 

Illumina Offered the Counter Bid for Complete Genomics
Bloomberg | As suspected by many, Illumina says it was the second bidder for Complete Genomics. Complete rejected Illumina's offer--a 5% premium over the BGI offer--because the deal would have likely been stalled by antitrust regulators. Read More 

Genome Variety: Humans a 'Mosaic of Cells with Different Genomes'
Yale University News | Scientists at Yale School of Medicine have found that the human body is "made up of a mosaic of cells with different genomes." While studying skin cells derived from stem cells, researchers found genetic variation at the cellular level: at least 30% of skin cells displayed varying levels of copy number variations. Read More 

Helicos Files Chapter 11
GEN | Next-gen sequencing company Helicos filed for Chapter 11 protection yesterday. In the filing, Helicos listed $15.478 million in liabilities and only $3.503 million in assets. Read More 

Graph500 Ranks Supercomputers' Agility with Big Data
Computerworld | A new supercomputing ranking compares how well machines deal with big datasets. The Graph500 benchmark was introduced in 2010 to rank how systems search for data in a large data set. Read More 

HP Launches Big Data Servers
eWeek | HP yesterday introduced a new server specifically designed for big data workloads. The ProLiant SL4500 Generation 8 is tuned for petabytes and multiple petabytes. Read More 

Text Mining Reveals Alzheimer's Biomarkers
Clinical Innovation & Technology | In a study published in the Journal of Translational Medicine , the authors were able to identify 25 biomarker candidates for Alzheimer's disease via the data mining of publicly available databases. Read More 

Janssen Launches Clinical Trial Investigator Database
eCliniqua | Janssen Research & Development has established a global cross-pharma Investigator Databank designed to improve efficiencies of industry-sponsored clinical trials. The effort is part of the newly-created TransCelerate BioPharma. Read More 

Digital Body Plots Pains, Prescriptions
Startupticker | A new personal health record gives users a virtual body model to track their personal health history. Nhumi users tag free text with 3D coordinates recorded on a virtual model of the human anatomy by simply clicking on the body, creating a pin, then dragging the pin to their text. Read More 

Wash U Receives $50m NIH Translational Science Grant
Phys.org | Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has received a $50 million grant from NIH to help speed the translation of scientific discoveries into improvements in human health. The grant will reportedly help Washington University pursue the goals of the BioMed 21 initiative to encourage cross-disciplinary and translational research. Read More 

Complete Genomics Rejects Counter Bid
Bio-IT World | Complete Genomics received an unsolicited counter bid on November 5 that could have disrupted the firm's ongoing acquisition by BGI. The bid, from "Party H", was for $3.30 per share, 5% more than the BGI offer price, however Complete Genomics rejected the offer on November 8. Read More 

Algorithm to Decrease Needed Number of ALS Clinical Trial Patients
San Francisco Business Times | A Stanford University team won $200,000 in the Prize4Life competition for an algorithm to reduce the number of patients in ALS trials. Read More 

Intel Shipping GPU-Competitor Chips: Xeon Phi
PC Magazine | On Monday, Intel announced it is shipping its Xeon Phi products--a product line specifically targeting competition from NVIDIA and AMD. The Xeon Phi chips are packaged on discrete graphics-like cards and are built to work with Intel's Xeon E5 family of server and workstation CPUs. Read More