The UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council has said that it will invest around £20 million ($32 million) in six synthetic biology research projects in the country, which will focus on global challenges such as producing low-carbon fuels and reducing the cost of industrial raw materials.

The financial support will also help build a synthetic biology research community in the UK, the BBSRC says.

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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.