Qiagen and Agilent both had strong stock gains during the past week, leading the BioCommerce Week Index of multi-platform molecular biology tool firms. Qiagen shares rose 10 percent, though the reason for the upward movement is not readily apparent. Agilent's shares climbed 9.78 percent, due largely to a report in the Wall Street Journal that the firm's semiconductor business could be sold as early as late this week for as much as $2.5 billion.

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Technology Review reports that researchers in the US have used CRISPR to modify a number of human embryos.

By introducing genes from butterfly peas and Canterbury bells, researchers in Japan have developed a blue chrysanthemum, according to NPR.

Plant researchers plan to sequence some 10,000 samples that represent the major plant clades, ScienceInsider reports.

In Nature this week: a Danish reference genome, and more.