Short Reads


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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The London School of Economics' Daniele Fanelli argues at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that the reproducibility crisis in science isn't as dire as some say.

A team of researchers in Portugal has examined the genomic basis for racing pigeons' athleticism and navigational skills, finding it's likely polygenic.

Wired reports that diagnostic firms continue to seek, post-Theranos, the ability to diagnose diseases from small amounts of blood.

In Science this week: analysis of DNA from ancient North Africans, and more.