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UC Davis Gets $6M USDA Grant for Genomics-Based Tree Breeding Program

The University of California – Davis has received $6 million from the US Department of Agriculture to apply genomic-based breeding technologies to conifer trees, the USDA announced yesterday.
The grant supports research associated with the Conifer Coordinated Agricultural Project, a collaborative effort overseen by the Conifer Translational Genomics Network, which aims to bring marker-based breeding within the next five years to tree breeding cooperatives in the US. The grant also will support development of a comprehensive undergraduate and graduate curriculum in modern plant breeding.
The USDA said “genomic-based breeding technologies will significantly reduce the breeding cycle time and the cost of extensive field evaluations at large, long-term test plantations.”

The Scan

Rare Genetic Disease Partnership

A public-private partnership plans to speed the development of gene therapies for rare genetic diseases, Stat News writes.

Approval Sought for Alzheimer's Drug

The Wall Street Journal reports Eli Lilly has initiated a rolling submission to the US Food and Drug Administration to seek approval for its drug to treat Alzheimer's disease.

DNA Barcoding Paper Retracted

Science reports that a 2014 DNA barcoding paper was retracted after a co-author brought up data validity concerns.

Nature Papers Present Genomic Analysis of Bronze Age Mummies, Approach to Study Host-Pathogen Interactions

In Nature this week: analysis finds Tarim mummies had local genetic origin, and more.