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The Analysis Part

Sony subsidiary M3, which runs medical information websites, is teaming up with Illumina in a joint genome sequencing analysis venture, The Japan Times reports.

The venture will analyze genomic information from blood samples obtained from hospitals and other sources, the paper says. In addition, it will compile the genetic data — stripped of personal information — into databases and sell it to Japanese drugmakers and medical institutions. The Japan News adds that this is part of Sony's move to increase its operations in medicine.

Indeed, according to Asahi Shumbun, Sony President Kazuo Hirai said last October that the company plans to increase the sales of its medical business to $2.04 billion by 2020.

The Scan

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

Culture-Based Methods, Shotgun Sequencing Reveal Transmission of Bifidobacterium Strains From Mothers to Infants

In a Nature Communications study, culture-based approaches along with shotgun sequencing give a better picture of the microbial strains transmitted from mothers to infants.

Microbial Communities Can Help Trees Adapt to Changing Climates

Tree seedlings that were inoculated with microbes from dry, warm, or cold sites could better survive drought, heat, and cold stress, according to a study in Science.

A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers investigate what combination of genetic and environmental factors come into play to cause cleft lip/palate.