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A Mixed Bag

Times are still difficult for many biotechs, but Ed Silverman writes at Pharmalot that the situation is actually a bit variable. Drawing on a report from consulting firm BDO, Silverman notes that biotech firms spent slightly more on R&D in 2011 than in 2010, though he adds that while large biotechs reported about 33 percent increase in revenue, smaller biotechs have not seen such large gains, reporting 12 percent decline in revenue.

"With revenues growing, it is no surprise that biotech firms are again investing substantial dollars in research and development," says BDO's Ryan Starkes in a statement. "However, broader economic challenges persist. Smaller companies are struggling to generate returns on their past investments, and continue to target innovative medicines in hopes of greater revenues down the road."

The Scan

Comfort of Home

The Guardian reports that AstraZeneca is to run more clinical trials from people's homes with the aim of increasing participant diversity.

Keep Under Control

Genetic technologies are among the tools suggested to manage invasive species and feral animals in Australia, Newsweek says.

Just Make It

The New York Times writes that there is increased interest in applying gene synthesis to even more applications.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on OncoDB, mBodyMap, Genomicus

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: database to analyze large cancer datasets, human body microbe database, and more.