NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The UK is investing £12 million ($19.9 million) to establish new synthetic biology facilities and provide training in the field, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council announced on Wednesday.

The UK Research Councils, led by BBSRC, will award £10 million to create five DNA synthesis centers "to further develop the UK's research base in synthetic biology," BBSRC said.

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Two researchers have found that behavioral genetic defenses in criminal cases don't tend to affect outcomes, according to Popular Science.

Researchers report that while host genetics influence the oral microbiome, they don't appear to affect cavity-causing microbes, the Economist says.

Pandas' gut microbiomes change as what they eat changes with the seasons, writes Discover's Inkfish blog.

In PLOS this week: comparative genomic study of malaria-linked macaque parasite, search for apple root reference genes, and more.