NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council has awarded £5.2 million ($8.5 million) to fund two new research projects, including an effort to better understand fruit fly genetics and development and a project to develop synthetic biology tools for algae-based oil production.

These two new grants are part of a cluster of six new studies pursuing a wide range of bioscience projects that BBSRC unveiled on Wednesday. Overall, BBSRC has awarded a total of £17.7 million to fund the projects.

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Technology Review reports that researchers in the US have used CRISPR to modify a number of human embryos.

By introducing genes from butterfly peas and Canterbury bells, researchers in Japan have developed a blue chrysanthemum, according to NPR.

Plant researchers plan to sequence some 10,000 samples that represent the major plant clades, ScienceInsider reports.

In Nature this week: a Danish reference genome, and more.