Short items

  • The Genome Sequencing Center at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, US, has been awarded a $156 million (?79.5 million), four-year grant to use the tools of  DNA sequencing to ’unlock the secrets’ of cancer and other human diseases. 
  • The UK’s ministry of defence has launched a science and technology competition to develop a system to detect and report  urban warfare threats in real time to soldiers on patrol. The winner of the ’Grand Challenge’ will be awarded a contract by the MOD to develop their idea into a system that will be deployed on operations with British troops. ( 
  • The 2006 winners of the European Commission’s Marie Curie Excellence Awards include researchers in Israel, the UK, Germany, France, Belgium and Italy. Their work covers aspects of cognitive neuroscience and psychology, atmospheric science and environmental science, nanotechnology and materials science and physics. 
  • UK investment firm Biofusion has entered into a long-term exclusive agreement with Cardiff University, UK, that it says will triple the research spend associated with Biofusion’s university agreements and expand its business into non-life science research. The agreement includes a 10 year exclusive deal for the right to commercialise 100 per cent of all Cardiff University research-generated IP in return for an equity stake in Biofusion worth approximately ?17 million. 
  • The Virginia and D K Ludwig Fund for Cancer Research, created by American billionaire Daniel K Ludwig, is to donate $20 million (?10 million) to each of six leading cancer research institutions to create Ludwig Centers for cancer research. Subsequent distributions from the Ludwig Fund over the next seven years are expected to enable each Ludwig Center to build a self-sustaining endowment.