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Agilent Technologies signed a deal to acquire Varian for about $1.5 billion. The agreement, which would expand Agilent's presence in the life sciences research and applied markets, was expected to be complete by the end of this year.

In August, the US Senate confirmed Francis Collins as director of the National Institutes of Health. In a statement, Kathleen Sebelius, director of the Department of Health and Human Services, called Collins "one of our generation's great scientific leaders."

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Gene drives might run into biological resistance, the Economist reports.

Forensic experts exhumed painter Salvador Dalí's body to collect DNA for a paternity test, CBS News reports.

Yale Environment 360 writes that synthetic and conservation biologists aren't always on the same wavelength, but they are trying to reach an understanding.

In Science this week: full CRISPR locus integration complex structure, and more.