Arizona Biosciences News

Arizona SciTech Festival set for Feb 2012; Parkinson's, Alzheimer's studies in metro Phoenix; Bayer's Maricopa cotton research

Summary:

Top bioscience news, October 10-25: Arizona Science and Technology Festival set to debut in February 2012  ¶ Several metro-Phoenix institutions engage in notable Parkinson's, Alzheimer's studies  ¶ Under the radar, Bayer's Maricopa facility hosts advanced bioag research. (Plus 5 more stories)

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First Arizona SciTech Festival planned for 2012
10/22/2011 | Phoenix Business Journal | Erin Kennedy

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and other top state science and technology officials announced plans Friday for the first Arizona SciTech Festival next year. The statewide event will begin in Feb. 2012 and last six weeks. The Arizona SciTech Festival will coincide with the state’s centennial celebrations, and focus on innovation in Arizona over the next 100 years. The festival will celebrate science and technology throughout communities in Arizona to prepare the state for the future.

Luceome receives NIH grant to put technology on market
10/22/2011 | Arizona Daily Star | Michelle A. Monroe

Luceome Biotechnologies, a University of Arizona spinoff company, received a $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to commercialize its drug research technology. The grant award will help Luceome develop a product called KinaseSeeker that helps speed the process of finding effective cancer drugs. Indraneel Ghosh, a UA chemistry professor, and his wife, Reena Zutshi, started the company in 2009.

Businesses enable Alzheimer’s study of Colombian family
10/21/2011 | Phoenix Business Journal | Angela Gonzales

Nearly a dozen Valley businesses have contributed thousands of dollars in goods and services to bring a Colombian family to the Valley for a clinical trial at Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix. A large, extended family of 5,000 members living in Colombia carry a unique gene for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, said Laura Jakimovich, clinical trials manager for BAI. Because of this gene, one-third of the family members begin showing symptoms of cognitive and thinking impairment by their early 40s.

Grants funding studies, quest for Parkinson’s disease cure
10/21/2011 | Phoenix Business Journal | Linda Obele

Dr. Charles Adler has spent more than 20 years tracking a thief called Parkinson’s disease. He blames the degenerative neurological disorder for stealing his grandfather from him when Adler was 13 years old. “My personal interest in the disease has guided my whole career,” said Adler, chairman of the division of movement disorders in Mayo Clinic Scottsdale’s neurology department. He is overseeing the clinical portion of a five-year, federally funded study that began last month, underwritten by an $8 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

New technology aiding in Parkinson’s treatment
10/21/2011 | Phoenix Business Journal | Linda Obele

New imaging technology is making it easier for doctors at the Valley’s three Parkinson’s treatment centers to analyze patient brain activity and diagnose a disease whose symptoms frequently are confused with other disorders. Mayo Clinic, Barrow Neurological Institute and three Banner hospitals have begun using GE Healthcare’s DaTscan, a nuclear medicine imaging study that analyzes dopamine activity in the brain.

Tracking diseases from anthrax to cholera
10/16/2011 | Science News | Alexandra Witze

When U.S. Army microbiologist Bruce Ivins committed suicide in 2008, knowing he was the lead suspect in the government’s investigation into the 2001 anthrax letter attacks, the massive scientific push to identify the killer also halted. But had anthrax-laden missives appeared in the mailboxes of journalists and members of Congress today rather than 10 years ago, modern science could have greatly simplified the hunt, says Paul Keim, a microbiologist at Northern Arizona University.

Hidden business: Bayer facility north of Maricopa puts the science into cotton seeds, growth
10/16/2011 | Tri Valley Central | Brett Fera

Each day, some-15,000 cars from the City of Maricopa pass the Casa Blanca Road intersection. It’s a safe bet not many have noticed the steel and aluminum warehouse-like structures, or the five or so nondescript double-wide trailer buildings. At this facility, there are no cotton fields; there is no cotton gin to remove the cotton from the seeds. That all happens elsewhere, on farms and fields through Pinal County and the rest of Arizona. What Tony Salcido and his colleagues at this Bayer CropScience facility do involves the steps after the cotton has been picked.

ASU licenses several biotech technologies to Roche
10/11/2011 | Phoenix Business Journal | Angela Gonzales

Arizona State University will license several technologies to Basel, Switzerland-based Roche, the world’s largest biotech company. The technologies to develop a new DNA sequencing system were developed by Dr. Stuart Lindsay at the Biodesign Institute at ASU and Dr. Colin Nuckolls, of the Columbia University Nanoscience Center. This new licensing deal comes at a time when Lindsay’s group just received a $5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to build a prototype sequencing device.

Tucson tech: HTG working on radiation-exposure testing
10/11/2011 | Arizona Daily Star | David Wichner

HTG Molecular Diagnostics Inc. is working with Arizona State University in the latest phase of a radiation-detection technology program funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). ASU recently won a $5 million contract option as part of a five-year, potential $35.4 million contract with BARDA. HTG's portion of the extension is $2.7 million.

ASU Foundation names Rick Shangraw Jr. as new CEO
10/10/2011 | Phoenix Business Journal | Angela Gonzales

Rick Shangraw Jr. has been named president and CEO of the ASU Foundation for a New American University, effective Nov. 1. In his current role as senior vice president for knowledge enterprise development at Arizona State University, Shangraw has built ASU’s growing annual research portfolio to nearly $350 million, ranking ASU among the top 20 research institutions in the country without a medical school. Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, has been named Senior Vice President for Knowledge Enterprise Development, pending Arizona Board of Regents approval. Panchanathan succeeds Shangraw.