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Craig Venter, "Hopeless Businessman"

Craig Venter says that he has been "successful in is finding alternate ways to fund research," in the New York Times. A venture capitalist friend, Alan Walton, adds that "Craig is just a hopeless businessman." Venter began Synthetic Genomics as a way to fund his research in synthetic biology, and his work there has garnered attention — Venter notes he heard from the president and the pope on the same day after announcing the activation of a synthetic genome. However, Synthetic Genomics has attracted a lot of funding, too, notes the Times, with investments from various venture capital firms, ExxonMobil, BP, a Malaysian conglomerate, a Mexican industrialist, among others. Venter is driven, the Times adds, by "the desire for scientific accomplishments, publications and recognition, and for the Nobel Prize that still eludes him. Business is just a means to a scientific end."

The Scan

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.