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Apr 24, 2008

NCI Extends Contract with Geneart for Gene Production

  • Geneart has agreed to continue the production of genes for the NCI under a contract worth $1.9 million.  The company has already produced more than 3,500 genes at a cost of $3.5 million. The new deal covers the synthesis of another 200 highly genes.

    This gene collection for the NCI complements the NIH Mammalian Gene Collection (MGC) Program . This comprehensive collection of human and mouse genes represents a significant resource for basic research as well as for clinical R&D.

    The 3,500 genes so far synthesized by Geneart include a large number of highly complex sequences, which could not be isolated with classical methods of biotechnology in the course of the MGC project between 2002 and 2006, according to the firm. A major proportion of genes in this group showed a high number of repetitive DNA sequence elements or was toxic for the production host E. coli.  Since then, Geneart says that it has advanced its existing technologies and established new production techniques so that it can now efficiently synthesize this large number of genes in a high-throughput manner.


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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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