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First NIH Grant Awards in BRAIN Initiative

TODAY | Bio-IT World News Brief | This morning, the NIH announced the recipients of its first round of grants tied to the nationwide BRAIN Initiative, totaling $46 million in funding for research meant to develop an integrated understanding of human brain function.

New, Larger Facility for Transcriptic Robotics Lab

| Bio-IT World News Brief | Transcriptic, the programmable lab-for-hire, has moved to a new, 10,000-square foot location as it adds more instruments and "work cells" where experiments are conducted.

CRISPR Knockin Mice Enable Rapid Gene Editing

| Bio-IT World News Brief | Researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have created a line of mice whose cells naturally express the Cas9 protein used in CRISPR gene editing, which can be used for virtually any gene knockdown experiment.

GeneHub Pulls Its Kickstarter Project to Sequence Whole Genomes for the Masses

| Bio-IT World News Brief | Just two days after launching a Kickstarter campaign to start the world's first brokerage service for personal whole genome sequencing, GeneHub has pulled the plug.

Illumina at EmTech

| Bio-IT World News Brief | Francis de Souza, president of gene sequencing company Illumina, spoke at the EmTech conference in Cambridge this week about his company's pivot to clinical use, and a growing market for whole genome sequencing that he says will produce 228,000 whole human genomes in 2014 alone.

GeneHub Wants to Sell Whole Genomes Direct to Consumer

| Bio-IT World News Brief | San Francisco-based GeneHub has plans to become the first company selling whole genome sequences to all comers, and launched a Kickstarter campaign this week to raise the funds it needs to get started.

Big Changes for Molecular Diagnostics as FDA Moves on Lab Developed Tests

| Clinical Informatics News | As the FDA extends its oversight to tests designed and performed in a single laboratory, diagnostic companies are celebrating a more even playing field. But hospital and academic labs worry that the high price tag of FDA review will stifle their in-house tests without protecting patients.

15 Biotechs to Watch

| Fierce Biotech | Fierce Biotech has unveiled its hotly-anticipated Fierce 15, an annual list of biotech companies showing special promise in delivering transformative new therapies.

The Immunotherapy Challenge: Moving from Preclinical Research to Clinical Practice

| Bio-IT World | Contributed Commentary | As personalized medicine opens up new possibilities in cancer immunotherapy, quantified image analysis is a promising route to discovering biomarkers that can meaningfully stratify patients for treatment.

The Latest Scoop on the MinION Portable Sequencer

| MIT Technology Review | Oxford Nanopore, and the early access users of its MinION nanopore sequencer, share details about the device's accuracy, read length, applications, and a forthcoming high throughput instrument.

gCell Gives Genentech Corporate Memory of Cell Line Experiments

| Bio-IT World | Genentech combed through its trove of thousands of cell lines to create a definitive phenotypic and genetic profile of each, making it possible to trace back preclinical experiments and share results company-wide. The project won the company its second straight Bio-IT World Best Practices Award for finding new efficiencies in its preclinical pipeline.

The Microbiome as a Source of Antibiotics

| Nature News | While the human microbiome has been mined as a source of novel therapies for years — through probiotics or fecal transplantation — a team at UC San Francisco is now exploring whether more traditional drugs could be found in the arsenals of our commensal bacteria.

Mount Sinai Opens New Genomics Lab with Bank of Ion Torrent Sequencers

| Bio-IT World | The old Roche 454 facility in Branford, Connecticut, will soon be returning to genomic science, as the Icahn Institute at Mount Sinai prepares to set up its second sequencing facility on grounds abandoned by Roche in its shutdown of 454 Life Sciences.

Bioengineer Sangeeta Bhatia Wins Lemelson-MIT Prize for Inventors

| BostInno | Sangeeta Bhatia, director of MIT's Laboratory for Multiscale Regenerative Technologies, today received the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize awarded to mid-career inventors "who have developed a patented product or process of significant value to society."

Single-Celled Protist Has Extraordinary Fragmented Genome

| Bioscience Technology | The pond-dwelling protist Oxytricha Trifallax, already known for the genomic oddity of having roughly 16,000 chromosomes, has revealed an even more remarkable quirk in its native DNA.

Actionable Genome Consortium to Define Best Practices for Cancer Genetics

| Bio-IT World News Brief | Gene sequencing company Illumina has joined with four major cancer centers to found the Actionable Genome Consortium, an organization dedicated to publicizing standards for cancer genetics.

Washington University Rolls Out Open Source Epigenomics Browser

| Bio-IT World | Coinciding with the completion of an early phase of the NIH-funded Roadmap Epigenomics Project, a team at Washington University in St. Louis has created a genome browser with added capabilities to deal with epigenetic data.

Edico Genome Makes First Sale of NGS Processor

| Bio-IT World | Edico Genome, which claims its DRAGEN chip can assemble a whole human genome and call variants in as little as 20 minutes, has made its first sale of the device to prenatal testing company Sequenom, which will use the DRAGEN to search for genetic disorders in fetal DNA samples.

modENCODE Project Reveals Evolutionary Patterns of Gene Activation(2)

| New York Times | As the modENCODE project catalogues the transcription factors and other regulatory elements at work in fruit fly and worm cells at various stages of development, scientists are learning that many of the genetic regulatory elements at work in humans have deep evolutionary roots.

New NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy Straddles a Fine Line

| Bio-IT World News Brief | This week, the NIH issued its long awaited Genomic Data Sharing Policy, which encourages researchers to obtain the broadest possible patient consent for open data sharing, while at the same time considering new privacy measures to protect vulnerable patient populations.
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