The First Crop

Breakout Labs, which is funded by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, has issued its first round of grants to a range of scientific projects, reports the Nature News Blog. Among the six grantees are Positron Dynamics, which aims to use positrons in medical imaging or space travel, Longevity Biotech, which is using an artificial protein technology to develop drugs, and 3Scan, which is developing a 3D microscope to image the brain.

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The US Food and Drug Administration has new guidelines that enable some gene and cell therapies to undergo expedited review, according to the New York Times.

Using gene drives to control invasive species might be too risky, an initial advocate of the approach says.

Researchers have grown tumors in 3D cell cultures to better understand cancer, the Economist reports.

In Science this week: intellectual property experts argue patent battles such as the one over CRISPR are wasteful, and more.