PharmaVille

Tired of tending virtual crops and feeding fish with your Facebook friends? How about trying your hand at synthesizing small-molecule compounds and organizing clinical trials?

Boehringer Ingelheim is preparing to launch a beta version of Syrum, "a social game on Facebook which sees you take control of your very own pharmaceutical company."

The game lets players set up their own labs to discover new drugs and bring them to market.

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The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is investing in Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's BioRxiv.

A study appearing in PLOS One finds that shortened consent forms don't affect clinical trial participants' understanding of the study.

The National Security Agency monitored signal intelligence for signs of "nefarious" genetic engineering projects, Gizmodo reports.

In Nature this week: barley genome sequenced, method for genotyping and phasing short tandem repeats, and more.