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.

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Two researchers have found that behavioral genetic defenses in criminal cases don't tend to affect outcomes, according to Popular Science.

Researchers report that while host genetics influence the oral microbiome, they don't appear to affect cavity-causing microbes, the Economist says.

Pandas' gut microbiomes change as what they eat changes with the seasons, writes Discover's Inkfish blog.

In PLOS this week: comparative genomic study of malaria-linked macaque parasite, search for apple root reference genes, and more.