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An Interest in Seeds

Monsanto is part of a federal antitrust investigation of the seed industry, reports the New York Times, which notes that corn seed prices have gone up 135 percent since 2001 and, in the same period, soybean prices climbed 108 percent. Monsanto's Lee Quarles tells the Times that the increases are due to the inclusion of more resistance genes that save farmers money. In addition to the Justice Department's interest, the Times adds that Iowa's attorney general is also keeping an eye on the company's market dominance, and that Monsanto and its rival DuPont have sparred in court. Monsanto says that DuPont made a gene combination that was not allowed by its licensing agreement and DuPont says that Monsanto is limiting competition and innovation — a judge has ruled that the agreement prevents DuPont from creating that combination, but also has allowed DuPont to go forward with its antitrust claim.

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.