The Chronicle of Higher Education's Aisha Labi says plans to build a $1 billion biomedical institute in London are still on despite the severe cuts in public spending. The aim of the interdisciplinary institute, Labi says, is to figure out the underlying causes of some of the world's most "challenging" diseases. Those planning the center — the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation, as it's called — also hope it will eventually become a training ground for Britain's scientists.

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Technology Review reports that researchers in the US have used CRISPR to modify a number of human embryos.

By introducing genes from butterfly peas and Canterbury bells, researchers in Japan have developed a blue chrysanthemum, according to NPR.

Plant researchers plan to sequence some 10,000 samples that represent the major plant clades, ScienceInsider reports.

In Nature this week: a Danish reference genome, and more.