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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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In PLOS this week: a sequencing-based screen of Lyme disease-causing pathogen, the range of animals bitten by Anopheles darling mosquitoes in Peru, and more.

An NC State researcher is exploring the use of CRISPR-Cas3 as an anti-microbial, Gizmodo reports.

The Earth BioGenome Project plans to sequence all life on Earth, according to ScienceInsider.

For those who are concerned about Trump administration actions related to science, a new column in Scientific American has suggestions for ways to fight back.