Applera of Foster City, Calif., has received US Patent No. 6,916,447, "Apparatus and method for transferring small volumes of substances." The patent describes a method and apparatus for dispensing small volumes of selected substances, such as biological reagents or samples, onto substrates. According to one embodiment, spaced, tandemly arranged substrates are advanced by way of a conveyor, along a transport pathway extending over a reagent-supply location, such as a reservoir supported at a fixed position in a base.

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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.