Invitrogen Swings to 3Q Loss:

Earnings Season

Oops = Invitrogen Swings to 3rd-Quarter Loss on Hefty Charge; Shares Slide on Wall Street Miss.

Chaos in Carlsbad?

Invitrogen Swings to 3Q Loss: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

Applied Biosystems president joins Kinetic Concepts |

BOSTON, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Applied Biosystems Inc. (ABI.N: Quote, Profile, Research), a maker of tools for genetic research, said on Friday that its president, Catherine Burzik, has resigned to become chief executive of medical device company Kinetic Concepts Inc. (KCI.N: Quote, Profile, Research).
Foster City, California-based Applied Biosystems, whose parent is Applera Corp., said Tony White, Applera's chairman and chief executive officer, will become interim Applied Biosystems, president.
Kinetic Concepts, based in San Antonio, Texas, specializes in making wound-care products, specialty hospital beds and mattress replacement systems.

Applied Biosystems president joins Kinetic Concepts |

FDA Claims Six of Qiagen's Molecular Dxs Should Have Undergone Agency Review

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — The US Food and Drug Administration has sent a letter to Qiagen warning it that certain of its molecular diagnostics currently sold in the US do not have regulatory approval.

In an Oct. 2 letter to Qiagen CEO Peer Schatz, the FDA said six diagnostic products Qiagen developed are improperly marketed and require regulatory review by the agency. On its we site, Qiagen stresses that the products — tests for herpes virus, lime disease, parvovirus, Chlamydia, and malaria — are designed for use in CLIA labs and therefore do not require FDA oversight.

The FDA, on the other hand, claims that because the tests are packaged with instructions they are subject to agency review.

Products affected include Artus CMV PCR, C. Trachomatis PCR, C. Trachomatis Plus PCR, Parvo B19 PCR, Borrelia PCR, and Malaria PCR analyte specific reagents.

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Predict that this is going to hurt as the big difference in thier growth the past quarter verses the other competitors was primarily due to efforts in MDx

Medicare slammed for not improving lab-quality rules - Nation/Politics -

Medicare slammed for not improving lab-quality rules - Nation/Politics - The Washington Times, America's Newspaper: "Some scientists and consumer health groups are angry that the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has decided not to write new rules designed to improve the quality of laboratories that perform genetic testing, keeping in place current guidelines.
'We're very disappointed,' said Rick Borchelt, spokesman for the Genetics and Public Policy Center. 'After years of saying they were going to do this, they did a complete about-face ... with no justification. We're mystified.' "

SynPep CEO charged then starts new with SynBioSci?

Wow we heard about this. About time there is some accountability in the market. New rumor is they left and now start a new company called SynBioSci. Should change their name to SIN not syn because it is people like this that ruin the market for others.

SynPep CEO Charged with Fraud
San Francisco, CA – Dr. Chi Yang, the CEO of SynPep, a provider of custom peptide synthesis and antibody research products, was indicted by a federal grand jury on 13 counts of mail fraud and false statements for falsifying the purity levels of the company’s peptide products. The indictment claims that under Dr. Yang’s supervision, employees falsified chromatograms showing peptide purity and misidentified products. SynPep supplied peptides to private and public research institutions, including the federal government. “SynPep allegedly falsified graphs that were used in support of cancer or AIDS research, and that research may now be called into question,” stated Kevin V. Ryan, US Attorney for Northern California. The indictment is the result of a two-year investigation involving federal, state and Alameda County agencies.


Genes Help Gum-Disease Germ Harm Arteries

Florida researchers say they've discovered four genes that enable a type of gum disease bacterium called Porphyromonas gingivalis to invade and infect artery cells. The finding offers one possible explanation for a possible link between gum disease and heart disease.

Full article from Health Day

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Sorry can't commment much as we have to go floss right now!

Alarming concern: Has Bird flu H5N1virus mutated for human to human tranmission?"

"With no animal identified as yet as the source of infection, this cluster raises the suspicion of human-to-human transmission," Jennifer McKimm-Breschkin, a virologist at Australia's Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Melbourne said. "It warrants further urgent investigation, especially of people who may have come into contact with the infected people." Officials from the WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention joined local authorities last week on the Indonesian island of Sumatra to try to pinpoint how the people became infected with H5N1 in the past month

See Full Story from Bloomberg

Stem cells may help incontinence

The researchers described the treatment as a cure, meaning that the patients did not need to wear pads after they were treated. "It's highly effective, and it's much more effective than we previously thought," said lead author Hannes Strasser. "If somebody had told me it would have worked so well four years ago, I would not have believed it.

See full story Wall Street Journal Online

DNA mutations may offer cancer protection

Studies have long shown the more mutations in a cell's DNA, the higher the risk of cancer developing. But in the last few years it has become clear the very processes that generate mutations -- if they take place at a relatively low frequency -- can protect against cancer.

United Press International - NewsTrack - DNA mutations may offer cancer protection

QIAGEN Agrees to Acquire Gentra Systems Inc

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Is this more big fish eating little fish or just a smart use of money? You can spend millions a year fighting them in the market or just buy the buggars. Of course we don't see much staying around in Minnesota now. Gives Qiagen a dominating position in the molecular diagnostic front end. In the other market segments it looks like the battle is joined now with Qiagen and the two other "majors" Invitrogen and Sigma-Aldrich.

One thought = what does Gentra' distributors do? Sure they will want to continue selling DNA and RNA prep and not just let Qiagen get the revenue. Keep an eye on Promega, Epicenter, Tepnel and Zymo Research. Any other wanna be's don't have any differentiation, products for clinical like viral RNA, nor the type of management needed to grow in that market.

QIAGEN Agrees to Acquire Gentra Systems Inc.: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

Computer model details future flu pandemic

An influenza pandemic in the United States would crop up first in population centers like Houston and be largely over within four months, according to the researchers who created a complex computer simulation of a flu pandemic in the U.S. and Great Britain. | Computer model details future flu pandemic

China clones mad cow-resistant calf

Two scientists from Shandong who cloned China's first two healthy cows in 2001 led the project to produce the mad cow-resistant calf, according to Xinhua

China clones mad cow-resistant calf - Yahoo! News

Flu Pandemic: Not just health but the economy, stupid

Noting that "pandemics are like earthquakes, hurricanes and tsunamis" - only worse because of their global nature - Michael Osterholm of the University of Minnesota painted an unsettling picture of pandemic bringing world trade and travel to a screeching halt. Economist Sherry Cooper elaborated with an analysis of supply and demand: since inventories are deliberately kept at razor-thin levels, there would be food shortages and panic buying of nonperishables, water and medical supplies; a black market would ensue. With companies operating at minimum staffing levels, most would find it difficult to continue operating if up to 30 percent of their employees were out with influenza - that includes oil refineries and electric companies, thus leading to gas shortages and extended blackouts. Cooper estimated a mild influenza pandemic could result in a global economic delcine of two percent on an annual basis; but a severe pandemic could result in a six percent decline, which would push the U.S. into a deep recession, deeper than the recession of 1982.

Milken Institute Global Conference 2006: Flu Pandemic: Not just health but the economy, stupid

Studies Find Elusive Key to Cell Fate in Embryo

They have discovered a striking new feature of the chromatin, the specialized protein molecules that protect and control the giant molecules of DNA that lie at the center of every chromosome. The feature explains how embryonic cells are kept in a poised state so that all of the genome's many developmental programs are blocked, yet each is ready to be executed if the cell is assigned to that developmental path. The developmental programs, directing a cell to become a neuron, say, or a liver cell, are initiated by master regulator genes. These genes have the power to reshape a cell's entire form and function because they control many lower genes.

Studies Find Elusive Key to Cell Fate in Embryo - New York Times

pharmaco-metabonomics? A simple say to predict rug effects?

An international group of scientists has demonstrated a new tool for personalized medicine that makes it possible to predict nearly any adverse reaction an individual might have to drugs. Rather than being based on genetic screening, which up to now has been the dominant approach to personalized medicine, the new test relies on profiling an individual's metabolic products. Called pharmaco-metabonomics, the technique involves screening urine for metabolites: small molecules that are involved in or produced by the metabolic processes that sustain an organism.

Technology Review: Emerging Technologies and their Impact

Roche says Tamiflu 'Rapid Response Stockpile' ready for WHO

The aim is to contain an emerging outbreak of a novel and potentially pandemic strain of influenza if the H5N1 bird flu virus currently spreading throughout the world mutates and begins transferring from human to human.

Roche says Tamiflu 'Rapid Response Stockpile' ready for WHO -

Is The IPO door for biotech & medical devices opening up again?

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Visicu, which sells a remote monitoring system for emergency rooms, opened up with shares selling at $16. The stock price shot up to more than $25 on the first day before settling at $24.78. Shares in the company closed at $23 yesterday. Some see the strong IPO as yet another sign of a resurgence of interest. Watch for Perligen Sciences..this one will be a barometer for others to make a move.

States battle for slice of biotech pie

Nearly every state sponsored a booth at this week's worldwide biotech industry meeting at Chicago's McCormick Place convention center, according to James Greenwood, president and chief executive. States are spending billions of dollars to support bioscience research and development. State governments are also using investment funds and tax incentives to attract large industry anchors, instead of solely focusing on launching and growing new bioscience ventures.

States battle for slice of biotech pie

Scientists learn more about how viruses reproduce, spread

Reporting in the April issue of the Journal of Virology, the researchers have identified a protein that plays an important role in the ability of the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) to invade healthy cells and reproduce itself. The finding could play a role in vaccine development and also help scientists develop anti-viral agents to stop similar viruses in their tracks.

Scientists learn more about how viruses reproduce, spread

Finding Clues to Flu's Spread on the Way to Work

There is a tendency for the influenza season to start in California more often than any other state (with an average lead of one week for California)," the researchers wrote. The key, the study said, may lie with adults and, more specifically, their workplace commutes. When the researchers looked at information from the Census Bureau and the federal Department of Transportation, they found that the regional spread of the flu correlated closely with commuting patterns. Recent research has suggested that children, especially 3- and 4-year-olds, are the driving force behind epidemics.

Patterns: Finding Clues to Flu's Spread on the Way to Work - New York Times

Texas biotech company aims to clone 100 horses per year - Yahoo! News

ViaGen teamed up with another biotechnology firm, Encore Genetics, to offer the first commercial horse cloning operation in the United States. Their joint venture, they said, has led them to gene bank more than 75 champion horses of multiple breeds and disciplines.

Texas biotech company aims to clone 100 horses per year - Yahoo! News

BioBOOM Op/Ed: "And their off"... it's Secretariot clone#12 leading the way with Secretariot clone#3 in pursuit...... the rest of pack #5, #6, and #7 are close behind. So whats the point, guess we have been breeding for improvement for many years. Yes this clearly takes it to a whole new level. Now this is maybe just for cutting horses and on the ranch needs. We predict that sport of kings will not do well if this is ever allowed. Problem is that it makes for boring entertainment and not a sport anymore ....ZZzzzzzzzzz.....wake us up as we might now find a kids 3 legged race more competitive and fun to bet on.

Bird flu expected to hit West Coast by summer

The H5N1 virus in birds is expected in the next couple of months in the United States," California Health and Human Services Secretary Kim Belshe told reporters on Thursday at a state bird flu pandemic preparedness meeting.

Bird flu expected to hit West Coast by summer - Yahoo! News

Consumers Turn to Their DNA for Answers

Discount retailer Target Corp. now sells DNA collection and profile kits online. Some specialty drug stores have begun stocking DNA-based nutritional tests. Ancestry tests have taken on new prominence with a project by the National Geographic Society encouraging people to explore 'the ultimate human history, as written in our genes.

Consumers Turn to Their DNA for Answers:

The Human Genome [On The Trail Again]

If a motorcycle will transport one from one town to the next as efficiently as a luxury town car, evolution will not evolve a town car, even though the town car is a better way to go. Humans travel through life with more luxuries then other species do. This concept would show more support for creation then evolution.

The Human Genome [On The Trail Again]

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Good article by a Tracey Stevens to open up more thought on the evolution vs. creationism theories. Tracy seems inclined to the creationism camp and in the light of fairness it is worth a read.

Testicles may provide a better kind of stem cell

Men may be carrying in their testicles an almost limitless supply of spare part cells for treating disease and injury, research has suggested. It could become possible to harvest the stem cells from testicles and grow them into specialised tissues for treating conditions such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and paralysis. As the cells would come from the patient’s own body, they would be a precise genetic match and would not risk rejection. This source of tissue would thus remove any need for therapeutic cloning.

Testicles may provide a better kind of stem cell - World - Times Online

BioBOOM Op/Ed: In possibly related stories there is expected to be a big decline in male to female sex change operations and adult video arcades are now selling, for big profit, any floor mopping material which in the past they disposed of. (just kidding) Sure we will hear more along these lines from Jay Leno and others. Stay tuned...

Studies Suggest Avian Flu Pandemic Isn't Imminent

Peter Palese, a virologist at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, said he did not believe the H5 virus could infect people except when they were exposed to large doses, for example, by sleeping in the same room as chickens. "I feel strongly that H5 has been around in humans for a long time and never caused a pandemic, suggesting that this is not the virus which is likely to be the next pandemic," he said.

Studies Suggest Avian Flu Pandemic Isn't Imminent - New York Times

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Very interesting article noting some hakuna matta verbage on the H5N1 virus threat.

Aging Japan builds robot to look after elderly

A Japanese-led research team said it had made a seeing, hearing and smelling robot that can carry human beings and is aimed at helping care for the country's growing number of elderly.

Aging Japan builds robot to look after elderly - Yahoo! News

BioBOOM Op/Ed: One of the more interesting statements in the article: In the future, we would like to develop a capacity to detect a human's health condition through his breath.

DNA Diet: Bogus or Breakthrough?

ABC News: DNA Diet: Bogus or Breakthrough?: "On the Sciona diet, dieters swab the inside of their cheek to collect a DNA sample, fill out a questionnaire, and send them both back to Sciona.
The Sciona laboratory analyzes 19 genes that affect bone health, heart health, antioxidant and detoxification, insulin resistance, and inflammation, according to the Sciona Web site. Based on the findings, Sciona recommends several dietary changes to counteract the genetic weaknesses. "

Fisher to buy Athena, stake in Nanogen

Fisher agreed to buy privately held medical test maker Athena Diagnostics Inc. for $283 million cash from investment firm Behrman Capital, as well as a minority interest in biotech company Nanogen Inc. for $15.1 million.

Fisher to buy Athena, stake in Nanogen

BioBOOM Op/Ed: The move is on in MDx acquizition and investments (See Asuragen from Ambion too). Be prepared for assimilation. Third Wave can only hope to be next for someone so they can be put out of their misery. Of course there are some bad risks and losers out there too. Call us if you'd like to be warned.

Gene therapy gives hope to haemophiliacs

Dr. Chris Troedson, 35, received a cloned version of what's known as the Christmas disease gene, which expresses the blood-clotting agent Factor IX, deficient in some haemophiliacs because of a genetic defect inherited from their mother. The gene, which was encased in a harmless virus, known as adeno-associated virus (AAV), was injected via a catheter through his groin into the blood vessel which supplies the liver. The virus casing allowed the gene, cloned from an anonymous person's DNA, to infiltrate Dr Troedson's liver cells, telling them to make Factor IX.

Gene therapy gives hope to haemophiliacs - Breaking News - National - Breaking News:

Scientist does "origami" folding with DNA

Paul Rothemund of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena , who described his DNA origami in the latest edition of the journal Nature, has constructed DNA objects as diverse as a triangle, five-pointed star, a smiley face and a tiny map of the Americas smaller than a typical bacterium.

"A biologist might use DNA origami to take proteins which normally occur separately in nature, and organize them into a multi-enzyme factory that hands a chemical product from one enzyme machine to the next in the manner of an assembly line," said Rothemund.

Science News Article |

DNA-Shaped Nebula Spotted in Space


Magnetic forces at the center of the galaxy have twisted a nebula into the shape of DNA, a new study reveals. This is the first time it has been observed in the cosmos.

Cosmic 'DNA': Double Helix Spotted in Space - Yahoo! News

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Intelligent Design??? Posted by Picasa

Playing Stem Cell Lottery

Embryonic stem research in the U.S. is not restricted in any way, as is often popularly believed in this hotly contested debate. The real issue at hand is federal funding.

Playing Stem Cell Lottery - "AMGN74.89- 0.12

Discoveries about the variability of the human genome help shed light on disease and evolution.

The old thinking held that coiled in our cells, we all carry the same instruction book with just a few alternative spellings. But upon closer scrutiny, it appears our DNA is full of long strings of genetic code that are copied sometimes hundreds of times, the number of copies varying wildly from person to person. Last year, scientists found that your odds of getting infected with HIV after an unprotected sexual encounter with someone who has the virus depend partly on how many copies you carry of a gene called CCL3L1.

Philadelphia Inquirer | 03/13/2006 | Nobody's perfect

News in Science - Menstrual bloodldsstem cells

At the meeting of the American College of Cardiology, Dr Shunichiro Miyoshi reported that he and his colleagues at Keio University in Tokyo collected menstrual blood from six women and harvested stem cells that originated in the lining of the uterus. They were able to obtain about 30 times more stem cells from menstrual blood than from bone marrow, Miyoshi says.

News in Science - Menstrual blood yields stem cells - 14/03/2006: "
Tuesday, 14 March "

Plant sterol pills significantly lower LDL cholesterol

researchers studied patients who already were eating a heart-healthy diet and taking statin drugs to control cholesterol. The addition of plant sterols helped further lower total cholesterol and contributed to a nearly 10 percent reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the so-called "bad" cholesterol. Results of the study were published in the American Journal of Cardiology

Plant sterol pills significantly lower LDL cholesterol

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Even though the article says there is no commercial pill yet we do know of a new candy bar we got at a Henry's Grocery store that contains the same plant sterols and claims same affect. Go figure, a candy bar a day keeps the grim reaper away?

Government Health Researchers Pressed to Share Data at No Charge

A key federal advisory committee has recommended that scientists who receive NIH grants be required to post their results within six months of publication. And the Senate is considering legislation that would mandate such disclosures for an even broader array of federally funded scientists

Government Health Researchers Pressed to Share Data at No Charge

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Well as shareholders or rather should we say bond holders (due to all this debt) in the good old USA we say great. We should get all the information we want when ever we want especially if we hard working tax payers paid for it.

Canadian claims to have developed world's first blood test for brain diseases

The test, which looks for clumps of "misfolded" proteins that underlie such diseases, will enable a "definitive diagnosis" of such illnesses, which is not currently possible, researcher Neil Cashman told AFP.

Canadian claims to have developed world's first blood test for brain diseases - Yahoo! News

Hey Starbucks, how about a genetic test to go with that espresso?

Here's a real caffeine jolt — heart attacks might be a risk for coffee drinkers with a common genetic trait that makes caffeine linger in their bodies, a study suggests. "The new study 'clearly illustrates that one size does not fit all,' said University of Toronto researcher Ahmed El-Sohemy, a study co-author. 'Perhaps in the future we'll be making different (dietary) recommendations based on people's genetic makeup.'"

Coffee May Spell Heart Trouble for Some - Yahoo! News:

Sensor instantly detects cocaine or other toxins in blood

The sensor contains a specific, artificially fabricated DNA molecule that reacts when it meets cocaine. In seconds, the molecule turns from a floppy, formless shape into a rigid structure. When adding a blood or saliva sample contaminated with cocaine to the sensor, the change can be instantly measured by sending electrons through the DNA and seeing how they travel.

"The sensor can be built into a portable, handheld platform, and (the test) can be done here, in real time, within a few minutes, not a few hours," said Alan Heeger, a physics professor and Nobel Prize winner, who is part of the research team.

The testing device can be built from existing, inexpensive electronics. Heeger said the sensor is a major improvement on today's drug tests, where a sample of blood or urine has to be separated into its components before drugs can be identified.

Sensor instantly detects cocaine in blood - New York Times

Parents Sue Over Pregnancy Test Said to Tell Baby's Sex

Acu-Gen Biolab of Lowell, Mass., said the kit could detect the gender of the fetus with 99.9 percent accuracy — and as early as five weeks into pregnancy. The test costs $275 and comes with a 200 percent money-back guarantee. In the suit, the claimants said they relied on the company's promise to refund the fee if their tests weren't accurate, but when they tried to get their money back, the company refused to provide a refund and instead changed the terms of the refund policy, acccording to the lawsuit

ABC News: Parents Sue Over Pregnancy Test Said to Tell Baby's Sex

BioBOOM Op/Ed: This the Boy's "R" Us story?
We can only hope these charitans get hammered. A diagnostic with no data? Or better yet we are going to start selling some new collect at home tests with no data or claims ourselves.... seems like good money. Hello FDA - this is the kind of thing you should be stopping instead of the painstaking efforts you some times make proper scientifically founded assays jump thru hoops. Worse yet you restrict from use when there is data and proper claims. But hey if you wanna try it go here:

Beijing Warns of Bird Flu; Chirac Urges Calm

China today warned the public of a possible "massive" outbreak of bird flu, and said the country's agriculture officials were on high alert. The announcement came as China reported that two more people — who had both been around sick or dead birds —had died of the H5N1 bird flu strain, and that there was a new poultry outbreak in the country's east. "In view of the current situation, the possibility of a massive outbreak could not be ruled out," the official New China News Agency quoted Agriculture Minister Du Qinglin as saying.

BioBOOM Op/Ed: IT BEGINS... Do you yahoo or aol message/video conference? Get on it, this maybe the new interactive human relationship forum or would you rather shake hands in the lab hallway?

Beijing Warns of Bird Flu; Chirac Urges Calm - Los Angeles Times

Researchers Demonstrate Value for the First Genetic Test for High Blood Pressure and Sensitivity to Salt

Two genes at most were necessary to predict with a 78 percent accuracy which people with high blood pressure (hypertension) had a low renin levels, a substance that is currently measured to help establish the diagnosis of salt (sodium chloride) sensitivity. Thus, the researchers found different genetic bases for low renin in the blood and for salt sensitivity. Salt sensitivity is defined as a greater than 10 percent increase in blood pressure following a high-salt meal.

Salt Sensitivity

Scientists Find Virus in Some Prostate-Cancer Patients

But the researchers do not know whether the virus causes prostate cancer, infection or any other ailment in humans, they reported at a scientific meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in San Francisco

Scientists Find Virus in Some Prostate-Cancer Patients - New York Times

Stem Cells May Be Key to Cancer

"The real attractiveness of the cancer stem cell hypothesis, in my view, is that if the 1 percent of cells that are left after successful chemotherapy are really cancer stem cells, then obviously that provides the rationale for different forms of therapy that target them," said Dr. Vogelstein, a leading cancer researcher at Johns Hopkins.

Stem Cells May Be Key to Cancer - New York Times:

India Declares Arrival of Avian Flu Where 50,000 Birds Died

About 50,000 birds have died in the area in the last few days and samples sent to a government laboratory confirmed bird flu in the western Maharashtra State and eight people were being checked for the disease after tests on poultry in a western state showed they were infected with the deadly A(H5N1) strain.

India Declares Arrival of Avian Flu Where 50,000 Birds Died - New York Times

Genome data may contain small but significant errors

Researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and New York University describe a high throughput microarray technique that involves testing many samples simultaneously which can be used to assemble physical maps and validate genomic sequence assemblies. The findings appear in the latest issue of the Journal of Computational Biology

Genome data may contain small but significant errors

Bird flu 'could take 142m lives

The study, prepared for the Sydney, Australia-based Lowy Institute think tank, says there are "enormous uncertainties" about whether a flu pandemic might happen, and where and when it might happen first. The report, titled Global Macroeconomic Consequences of Pandemic Influenza, looks at four possible scenarios:

- Mild, in which the pandemic is similar to the 1968-69 Hong Kong flu;

- Moderate, similar to the 1957 Asian flu;

- Severe, similar to the 1918-19 Spanish flu (which infected an estimated 1 billion people and claimed as many as 50 million lives);

- An "ultra" scenario that is worse than the Spanish flu outbreak. In its "ultra" or worst-case scenario, Hong Kong's economy is halved, the large-scale collapse of Asian economic activity causes global trade flows to dry up, and money flows out to safe havens in North America and Europe. Deaths could top 28 million in China and 24 million in India - Bird flu 'could take 142m lives'�� - Feb 15, 2006


Greetings Kill: Primer for a Pandemic

To the pantheon of social arbiters who came up with the firm handshake, the formal bow and the air kiss, get ready to add a new fashion god: the World Health Organization, chief advocate of the "elbow bump. Distancing also encompasses less drastic measures, like wearing face masks, staying out of elevators — and the bump. Such stratagems, those experts say, will rewrite the ways we interact, at least during the weeks when the waves of influenza are washing over us.

Greetings Kill: Primer for a Pandemic - New York Times

BioBOOM Op/Ed: New meaning to the Neil Simon play title "Death of a Salesman". Do you really want to be shaking hands with a rep in your lab if this thing hits?

Spread of Bird Flu Boosts Pandemic Chances

Experts said that compared with eight months ago, this is a major extension of the avian influenza epidemic. Over the next few days, the World Organization for Animal Health and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization will try to match that sequence with the genetic sequence of viruses from birds in other countries affected by bird flu. If it turns out that H5N1 was carried to west Africa by migratory birds, we need to be prepared for the possibility that within the next six months it could be brought back to the northern hemisphere — but perhaps along a different flyway. That could mean that countries in Western Europe and North American should be bracing themselves for the possible introduction of H5N1 avian influenza.

Spread of Bird Flu Boosts Pandemic Chances - Yahoo! News

Firms give U.S. millions for genetic research

The new project, called the Genetic Association Information Network, aims to speed the NIH's part of that hunt with an influx of private cash and access to some high-tech industry laboratories. The National Institutes of Health announced the partnership Wednesday with Pfizer Inc. and Affymetrix Inc., saying the project's discoveries won't become the property of the two companies but will be available to all scientists. - Firms give U.S. millions for genetic research - Feb 8, 2006

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Seeding the market = smart move. So Illumina, Merk, Invitrogen, Glaxo, Qiagen, Abbott, ABI and others... when you going to pony up?

Stem cells implanted in hearts

Adult stem cells have been implanted in two Australian men with badly blocked arteries in what scientists say is a world first. Two months ago, they had stem cells extracted from their bone marrow, which were then multiplied in a laboratory using technology developed by Australian Stock Exchange listed company, Mesoblast. Dr Thambar, of the Hunter Medical Research Institute, said both men's arteries were "too far gone" for any further conventional treatment and they suffered severe symptoms such as chest pain. Both had undergone earlier heart-bypass surgery. The men - one in his 50s, the other in his 60s - had left hospital with apparently no side effects from the treatment, Dr Thambar said.

Stem cells implanted in hearts - Breaking News - National - Breaking News

DNA Kits Aim to Link You to the Here and Then

Several years ago, the Internet helped to encourage a greater American fascination with genealogy. Now DNA testing has added a new twist that has people like Ms. Bopp paying hundreds if not thousands of dollars to look at genetic information in order to uncover details about their heritage. More than a dozen companies, like Family Tree DNA in Houston, Relative Genetics in Salt Lake City and African Ancestry in Washington, now sell home DNA tests; the prices range from $100 to $900 each.

DNA Kits Aim to Link You to the Here and Then - New York Times

Windfall for drug industry raises questions

The boost in profits comes from a shift in the drug coverage of 6.4 million poor and elderly people from Medicaid to the new Medicare drug benefit. Unlike Medicaid, which requires drug companies to charge their lowest or "best price" for medications, the Medicare program relies on competition among private drug plans to keep prices low. By eliminating the need to discount drugs for the government, the industry can now pocket the savings. "The net effect over 10 years is probably closer to $40 billion in extra profit," said Stephen Schondelmeyer, a pharmaceutical economics professor at the University of Minnesota.

KRT Wire | 02/02/2006 | Windfall for drug industry raises questions

BioBOOM Op/ED: Just what some politicians needed. This will be interesting to see how the blame game plays out. Our guess is it will be a focal point of the midterm elections.

Intracellular Observation Of RNA Metabolism Will Help Identify Disease-associated RNAs

Now we have a workable system to understand all aspects of RNA metabolism in a cell," say Eberwine. "For the first time, we can study how manipulation of cellular physiology, such as administering a drug, changes RNA-binding protein and RNA interactions. This technology allows us to see that in real time in real cells."

Intracellular Observation Of RNA Metabolism Will Help Identify Disease-associated RNAs

Fred Siegman, a friend we will miss

On December 30th Fred Siegman a friend and colleague of many of us who frequent this blog passed away. Fred possessed boundless energy and creativity so work or play was rarely dull when he was around. He was an extremely talented actor and musician and possessed strong business acumen. But of all of his talents, qualities, and skills the ones I value most were his honesty and integrity. I never knew Fred to compromise his values, he stayed the course. He was a friend you could always count on.

Fred you will be missed.


BioBOOM Op/Ed: Dr. Siegman, yes this Ph.D. never throwing his degree around was a leader and pioneer in the Biotech tool industry. He was involved with numerous start ups and handled alot of the day to day dirty work for companies to be successful in the early stages. In the long run he brought untold millions of dollars of value with his small day to day efforts for the industry we know today. Most recently we at BioBOOM were discussing new ideas such as biotech "podcasting" with Fred as the host. God knows how entertaining that would have been. But heaven's gain is our loss. Enjoy Fred. We miss you but know that you made your mark and were called to a higher effort much earlier then we anticipated.

First Bird Flu Death Confirmed in Iraq

A 15-year-old Kurdish girl who died this month had the deadly H5N1 strain, Iraq and U.N. health officials said. The prospect of a bird flu outbreak in Iraq is alarming because the country is gripped by armed insurgency and lacks the resources of other governments in the region.

First Bird Flu Death Confirmed in Iraq - Yahoo! News

Germ Sensors

Bird flu and bioterrorism threats are creating healthy opportunities for outfits that sniff out lethal bugs.

Germ Sensors -

Bird Flu Gene Analysis Finds New Clue

St. Jude researchers reported in the journal Science that they have completed the first large genetic analysis of more than 300 of these bird flu viruses. They identified 2,196 bird flu genes and 160 complete genomes, doubling the amount of genetic information available for scientists to study how these viruses evolve and spread over time. Simply having that new trove of gene information — posted in a public genetic database so that any scientist can mine it — in itself is a huge step, said Dr. Maria Giovanni of the National Institutes of Health which has launched a major project to map influenza genomes and helped to fund the St. Jude's work. So far, most of the complete influenza genomes available are from human viruses.

Bird Flu Gene Analysis Finds New Clue - Yahoo! News

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Ok folks here is where our investment in the genome project could pay off early. Lots of tool have been developed to speed up sequencing and similar to the off shoot of engineering from the investment in the space program during the 60's we now see similar affects this century from the genome project and hopefully, right when we might need it.

Paging Dr. Google

Google also has proved very useful to physicians and clinical researchers. As one fellow told his professor during grand rounds in a New York hospital, "I entered the salient features into Google, and [the diagnosis] popped right up" (Giustini, BMJ, 12/24/05). Google operates both the general search engine, as well as Google Scholar. Google Scholar is not linked to the general search engine but instead uses an algorithm to targeted so-called scholarly material. Google also offers an image search, which is useful to clinicians who can search clinical cases and then find corresponding images online.

Whether or not we'll be able to Google our genes by 2010, Google surely will be a top reference source for consumers, clinicians and researchers. The company is moving at breakneck speed for growth in all areas, hiring the best and brightest techies around the world. Clearly, health care is among Google's most important vertical markets.

Paging Dr. Google - iHealthBeat - Daily News Digest on Health Care Information Technology

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Great article and it should be noted another reason good marketing in biotech needs to deal with this access point.

ABC News: Poll: Most Find Medicare Program Puzzling

"I pretty much completed a master's degree in psychology and I can't understand it," said Raymond Lloyd, a Republican-leaning retiree from Silt, Colo. "For the elderly who don't have their full faculties and the poor people who are not well educated, God help 'em."

ABC News: Poll: Most Find Medicare Program Puzzling

Yogurt may help stop HIV infections, report says

Lactococcus lactis, a bacterium used to produce cheese and yogurt, was altered genetically by the scientists to generate cyanovirin, a drug that has been used to stop HIV infection in the cells of monkeys and humans, said on its Web site.

Yogurt may help stop HIV infections, report says

GOt MiLk?

NIH Halts International AIDS Study

A major international study of a drug-conserving
AIDS' therapy has been halted because patients trying the on-again, off-again strategy got sicker than those who never took a break from the high-powered drugs, U.S. researchers announced Wednesday.

NIH Halts International AIDS Study - Yahoo! News

DeCode Genetics Claims Discovery of Major Genetic Risk Factor for Type 2 Diabetes

In a scientific paper published today a team of scientists from deCODE genetics and colleagues report the discovery of a variant in a gene on chromosome 10 that represents the most significant genetic risk factor for type 2 diabetes (T2D) found to date. More than one third of individuals in the populations studied carry one copy of the at-risk variant and are at an approximately 45% increased risk of the disease compared to controls; 7% carry two copies and are at a 141% greater risk. The original finding was made in Iceland and was subsequently confirmed in studies in Denmark and the United States.

Major health emergency' in Calif. from drug plan

Problems with the federal government's new Medicare prescription drug plan are creating a health crisis in California, Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Friday, a day after the state announced emergency drug coverage for California's seniors because of the problems. The problems appear to stem from the fact that 6 million elderly, low-income and disabled people - including 1 million Californians - were automatically switched into the new drug program Jan. 1. These people previously had been covered by the Medicaid state-federal health care program for the poor, called Medi-Cal in California.mThe system was apparently not equipped to handle the influx.

AP Wire 01/13/2006 Feinstein: 'Major health emergency' in Calif. from drug plan

Taiwan breeds transgenic, fluorescent, green pig

"There are partially fluorescent green pigs elsewhere, but ours are the only ones in the world that are green from inside out. Even their hearts and internal organs are green," Wu said on Thursday.

Science'>">Science News Article Posted by Picasa
Some Interesting slides from JP Morgan Conference

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JPMorgan Healthcare Conference - connect here for Free!

You can listen to selected webcasts from the JPMorgan 24th Annual Healthcare Conference. JPMorgan’s premier conference on the healthcare industry features more than 260 public and private companies over four days of simultaneous sessions in San Francisco, CA. In addition, the conference hosts topical panel discussions featuring leading industry experts. And the cool think is you register for free and can listen to alot of them. We plan to post some slides we find interesting. So stay tuned.

JPMorgan Healthcare Conference - Sign In

Amylin designing trial of sustained diabetes drug

San Diego-based Amylin announced in August positive preliminary results from a 15-week study of the drug, a once-a-week injection called Exenatide LAR

Latest News and Financial Information |

If you wonder why this is important, read this:

Living at an Epicenter of Diabetes, Defiance and Despair - New York Times

Biotech investors swarm into S.F. after encouraging year / JPMorgan meeting promising venue to make sweet deals

Biotech's annual kickoff conference, which starts today at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, is like a slightly delayed New Year's Eve party, with revelers celebrating the past year's triumphs, resolving to do better in the future while cruising for new relationships. In the Bay Area, the noteworthy deals in play include Amgen's $2.2 billion purchase offer for the Fremont biotech company Abgenix, and Novartis' pending $5.1 billion offer for the pioneering Emeryville biotech company Chiron Corp.

Biotech investors swarm into S.F. after encouraging year / JPMorgan meeting promising venue to make sweet deals

U.S. Farmers to Begin Testing Chickens for Flu

The National Chicken Council said that poultry-processing companies that control about 90 percent of the nation's chicken production had joined the program. By Jan. 16, they are to start testing about 1.6 million birds a year, a council spokesman said.Under the program, chicken farmers, most of whom raise flocks under contract with major processors like Tyson Foods or Pilgrim's Pride, will take swabs or beak samples from 11 chickens in each healthy flock. Any suspicious results found in local laboratories will be sent on to a U.S.D.A. laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for confirmation.

U.S. Farmers to Begin Testing Chickens for Flu - New York Times

Hospitals' profit margin hits 6-year high in 2004

The hospital industry is in the midst of its biggest construction boom in 50 years, spending nearly $100 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars in the past five years for new and expanded facilities nationwide, often in rapidly growing suburban areas. That spending comes as conditions have been good for both borrowing and spending. Hospitals reported an average 5.2% profit margin in 2004, the last full year of data available from the American Hospital Association.

Colon cancer test is promising

Epigenomics in Seattle has the potential to help doctors spot colorectal cancer sooner -- before symptoms appear -- and when relatively tolerable treatments offer an excellent chance for survival.
The molecular diagnostics company said this past week that studies on more than 2,000 blood samples showed its test can detect an altered gene associated with colorectal cancer from 50 percent to 65 percent of the time, in both early and advanced cancer. The current standard of practise - the fecal blood test, misses many cancers. Its sensitivity is about 20 or 30 percent -- about half the sensitivity Epigenomics reported -- when used as part of an annual program

Colon cancer test is promising |

BioBOOM Op/Ed: This is good news, especially to those of us as we reached 40 had to do the in-home stool test collecton kit made by Beckman. That has to be the worst designed process we have ever seen. We even wrote the CEO of Beckman Coulter to complain but did we get a response? Nooooooo.... maybe another example of out of touch management in diagnostics. Glad to see there is a new approach and one that is using MDx technology.

Biotech research has freer hand in Asia

Biotechnology research has taken off in Asia. In the West, religious and moral concerns are hampering research like never before. Scientists face attack from politicians, the media, pressure groups and religious bodies. But in Asia, where dissent tends to be muzzled, there are fewer obstacles.

Biotech research has freer hand in Asia - Business - Business -

From Fierce Biotech

Pharmacogenomics Makes an Important Regulatory Debut

Revolutions often start small, and this one is embarking at the molecular level. Last year marked the first fledgling effort by the FDA to start gathering voluntarily submitted genomic data on new drugs. But as the agency makes clear, there will be a growing focus on finding patient subsets that benefit from a specific drug targeted to their condition. New genomic information is already being added to the labels of a handful of pioneering drugs. In the near future, that number is likely to grow exponentially--a trend no one with drugs in the pipeline can ignore.

The advantage here is that drug developers will be able to tailor drugs for specific groups, raising the likelihood of approval and making a solid case for inclusion on payers' drug formularies. The downside is that as drugs become more targeted, less waste will inevitably translate into lower revenue.

Welcome to the revolution.....

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