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DigiScents Mines Human Genome to Make Sense of Smell; DigiScents Defines the Emerging Field of Aromagenomics Using DoubleTwist Technology.

Business Editors & Health/Medical Writers

BIOWIRE2K

OAKLAND, Calif.--(BW HealthWire)--July 25, 2000

DigiScents, Inc. (www.digiscents.com), the pioneer of digital scent technology, has announced a licensing agreement with DoubleTwist, Inc., the first company to annotate the entire available draft of the human genome sequence.

DigiScents will use DoubleTwist's tools to further its research of the molecular biology of smell.

"Through our work with DoubleTwist, CLONTECH, and leading scientists in human olfaction, our company is defining a new field, Aromagenomics," states Joel Bellenson, CEO of DigiScents, referring to the application of molecular biology to the field of olfaction. "DigiScents is combining biotechnology, informatics, and sensory research to create a digital platform that will revolutionize the world of smell."

"We are delighted that our company's original founders, Joel Bellenson and Dexster Smith, have developed new scientific applications for the DoubleTwist products in their new venture," states DoubleTwist CEO, John Couch. "DoubleTwist.com will help DigiScents accelerate its research efforts in this new field."

In March 2000, DigiScents announced its discovery of 126 novel human olfactory receptor genes. Combined with publicly available olfactory research, DigiScents has access to close to half of the estimated 1000 genes that code for human olfactory receptors. The company will use DoubleTwist's tools to further its research of these genes. Olfactory receptors are expressed in neurons of the olfactory epithelium and allow humans to detect and distinguish between smells ranging from flowers to pizza and chocolate to burning wood.

About DigiScents, Inc.

DigiScents (http://www.digiscents.com) is partnering with leading web sites and interactive media companies to scent enable the Internet. With DigiScents iSmell digital scent technology, consumers will be able to enjoy more lifelike and memorable experiences with scented Web sites, e-mail, movies, music, e-commerce, interactive games, and online advertising.

In October 1999, DigiScents first announced its complete solution for digitizing and broadcasting scents over the Internet. Through its partnership with RealNetworks (Nasdaq:RNWK), DigiScents ScentStream(TM) software will be auto-downloaded to over 115 million RealPlayer users. Through its partnership with Hong Kong-listed Pacific Century CyberWorks (PCCW;HKSE:1186), DigiScents technology will be available across all of the Asia-Pacific via NOW, PCCW's enormous Internet, e-commerce, and interactive television network. The company also has announced partnerships with Procter & Gamble and eCandy.com. Over 500 developers have subscribed to the DigiScents ScentWare(TM) Developers Kit, launched March 2000.

DigiScents is a privately held corporation located in Oakland, California. The company was founded in February 1999 by Dexster Smith and Joel Bellenson. Bellenson and Smith also founded biotech leader DoubleTwist (http://www.doubletwist.com), formerly Pangea Systems Inc., the first company to annotate the entire available draft of the human genome sequence.

DigiScents(TM), iSmell(TM), and ScentWare(TM), and ScentStream(TM) are trademarks of DigiScents, Inc. All other companies or products listed herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

About DoubleTwist, Inc.

DoubleTwist, Inc. is an application service provider (ASP), devoted to empowering life scientists. The company provides research environments that leverage information technology and the World Wide Web to simplify and accelerate genomic discovery. The company's Website, DoubleTwist.com, is an integrated genomics portal that provides a secure and comprehensive research environment and community on the Web. The site provides users with a number of benefits, including automated research agents, continuous database monitoring, access to proprietary data and data mining tools.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 25, 2000
Words:559
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