The US National Institutes of Health announced the recipients of the 2011 Director's Pioneer, New Innovator, and Transformative Research Project Awards. These awards support high risk, high reward research, the agency says. According to NIH's James Anderson, these grants also serve to "reinvigorate the biomedical work force by providing unique opportunities to conduct research that is neither incremental nor conventional," he says in a statement.

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An Australian-led team has generated a draft genome assembly of the invasive cane toad in hopes it will help in population control, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The New York Times reports that the US Department of Defense has implemented about half the recommendations made to improve safe handling of dangerous agents.

In PLOS this week: approach for teasing out archaic introgression in human genomes, immune transcription features in HCV infection, and more.

Stat News reports that Maryland is promoting itself to the biotech industry with a mobile billboard.