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Synthetic Spinout

Agradis, a spinout of Synthetic Genomics formed in conjunction with the Mexican investment firm Plenus, is working to develop high yield biofuel crops and microbes to supplement fertilizers and pesticides, reports Technology Review. For biofuels, the company is focused on sweet sorghum and castor plants. "We're looking for fuel crops that don't need prime growing conditions," and thus won't affect food production, says Craig Venter, who is the CEO of Synthetic Genomics and currently serving as Agradis' chair.

Agradis is also licensing a library of plant-associated microorganisms from Synthetic Genomics to try to develop communities of microorganisms that can bolster plant health and prevent disease.

The Scan

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.

Study Highlights Pitfall of Large Gene Panels in Clinical Genomic Analysis

An analysis in Genetics in Medicine finds that as gene panels get larger, there is an increased chance of uncovering benign candidate variants.

Single-Cell Atlas of Drosophila Embryogenesis

A new paper in Science presents a single-cell atlas of fruit fly embryonic development over time.

Phage Cocktail Holds Promise for IBD

Researchers uncovered a combination phage therapy that targets Klebsiella pneumonia strains among individuals experiencing inflammatory bowel disease flare ups, as they report in Cell.