July 16, 2007 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

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Another example of the globalization of laboratory testing services is the just-announced acquisition of laboratory middleware provider P.G.P, s.a., of Brussells, Belgium, by Data Innovations, Inc., of South Burlington, Vermont. Data Innovations states that the acquisition now gives it “unprecedented worldwide reach” in the laboratory middleware market. Combined, the two companies have 6,500 middleware systems installed in 49 countries.

Ventana Opposes Roche’s Hostile Takeover Offer

In June, Roche Holdings, AG announced a tender offer worth $3 billion to purchase 100% of the shares of Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. of Tucson, Arizona. Last week, Ventana’s board of directors issued a public statement recommending that its stockholders not sell their shares to Roche. Expect several more twists in this story before a final outcome is reached.

METAGENOMICS WILL EXPAND MICROBIOLOGY

Metagenomics is an emerging field of science with the potential to expand the specialty of microbiology. Metagenomics describes study of the communities of microbes in the human body and how they interact to perform such functions as fighting disease. A recent report from the National Research Council reveals that most microbes were previously unknown species and cannot be cultured. In a study of obesity, for example, researchers suggested that those who are overweight carry different microbes than lean people carry. The kinds of microbes that obese humans had in abundance break down food more efficiently than other microbes.

ADD TO: MICROBES

Humans have 10 times as many microbial cells as human cells! The microbial cells include bacteria and yeasts and help make vitamins and amino acids that human cells can’t produce. The report said there are billions of benign microbes in the body that help digest food, break down toxins, and fight disease. Microbes are used commercially to make antibiotics, enhance crop production, and produce biofuels. The report, The New Science of Metagenomics: Revealing the Secrets of Our Microbial Planet, is available from the National Academies Press (www.nap.edu).

Dark Daily Update

dark_daily_logoHave you caught the latest e-briefings from DARK Daily? If so, then you’d know about…

…the release of the draft bidder’s package for the planned Medicare clinical laboratory services competitive bidding demonstration project and today’s meeting in Baltimore for lab industry comments.

You can get the free DARK Daily e-briefings by signing up at www.darkdaily.com.

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