At The New York Times Prescriptions blog, Duff Wilson says that outside business deals are keeping the pipelines of the major drug companies healthy, instead of internal research projects. According to a recent analysis from Fitch Ratings, the major drug makers are on pace to meet last year's level of 21 new drugs approved in the United States and Europe, but only thanks to acquisition and licensing deals.

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The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is investing in Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's BioRxiv.

A study appearing in PLOS One finds that shortened consent forms don't affect clinical trial participants' understanding of the study.

The National Security Agency monitored signal intelligence for signs of "nefarious" genetic engineering projects, Gizmodo reports.

In Nature this week: barley genome sequenced, method for genotyping and phasing short tandem repeats, and more.