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Systems Biology for Energy and the Environment

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Genomic Science Program

July 2003 News Briefs

New Phase II SBIR Awards Support GTL
Three winners of 2003 SBIR Phase II awards may help to speed scientific discovery in the Genomes to Life (GTL) program. Most microbes cannot be grown as pure cultures in the laboratory, but many of them have biochemical capabilities that could address DOE energy and environmental needs. Phase II SBIR awards to Molecular Staging Inc. and to Lucigen Corporation will provide scientists with new tools needed to produce larger quantities and pieces of DNA from unculturable microbes for DNA sequence analysis. A third Phase II award, to Genomatica, Inc., will lead to the development of a metabolic model to predict cellular functions of organisms under changing physiological and genetic conditions. All three awards support core needs of the GTL program. [Program contact: Marvin Stodolsky, 301/903-8521]

Richard D. Smith (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, PNNL), principal investigator of the FT-MS Proteome Express project, has won a seventh R&D 100 Award. These awards honor the most promising new products, processes, materials, and software developed throughout the world and put on the market in the previous year. The winning 2003 inventors will be recognized in October at R&D Magazine’s 41st annual awards banquet held in Chicago.

Proteome Express is the first high-throughput Fourier transform iron cyclotron resonance mass spectrometer (FT-MS) with the unprecedented ability to characterize and identify proteins, especially those that exist in small quantities, under a specific set of conditions at a specific time. It has demonstrated more than 100-fold improvement in speed and sensitivity over previous methods as well as its applicability to understanding the role of proteins in diseases such as cancer. [For more information on Proteome Express and previous PNNL awards, see]

"Genomes to Proteomes to Life: Application of New Technologies for Comprehensive, Quantitative and High Throughput Microbial Proteomics," Richard D. Smith, et al, Genomes to Life Contractor—Grantee Workshop I, Arlington, Virginia, February 9-12, 2003

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