US federal agencies that are funded above certain levels, like the National Institutes of Health, allocate part of those funds into programs to support small businesses, writes Sally Rockey, the deputy director for extramural research at NIH at her Rock Talk blog. In a recent post, she looks at the distribution of those grants across the US.

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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.