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The non-profit La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology said last week that it has licensed to MedImmune the intellectual property rights to a discovery that could serve as the basis for a new biologic treatment for asthma.

If MedImmune can develop and market a drug based on the discovery, it could be a financial boost to the La Jolla Institute, which established a dedicated tech-transfer department in 2007 as part of an institute-wide effort to diversify its revenue sources before funding from sole corporate sponsor, Kirin Pharma USA, dries up in 2010.

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Bloomberg reports that the DNA-for-cash deal reported in Kentucky might be a more widespread scam.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have treated infants with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency using gene therapy in an early phase study.

St. Louis Public Radio reports that some African Americans are turning to DNA ancestry testing to help guide genealogical searches.

In Nature this week: a genomic analysis of the snailfish Pseudoliparis swirei, ancient DNA analysis gives insight into the introduction of farming to England, and more.