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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. Breakout Labs aims to fund projects that aren't far enough along to receive venture capital funding or that don't have enough preliminary data to qualify for an NIH grant, the Nature News Blog adds.