The future possibilities for Nanogen's molecular diagnostics business broadened last week when Fisher Scientific spent $15 million to buy a 9-percent stake in the San Diego-based company.

The purchase, which makes Fisher one of Nanogen's lead investors, coincided with Fisher's $283-million acquisition of Athena Diagnostics and a plan by Fisher and Nanogen to develop and sell Athena's tests. Athena, based in Worcester, Mass., makes immunohistochemical and molecular diagnostics for neurological, nephrologic, and endocrine diseases.

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 Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who chairs the Senate health committee, will be retiring at the end of his term, Stat News reports.

UCSF researchers find that having two X chromosomes may contribute to women's longer lifespans, according to Discover's D-brief blog.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's use of genetic approaches to study foodborne illnesses.

In PNAS this week: immune cell profiling of wild baboons by social status, metabolomics profiling of esophageal tumors, and more.