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Several genetic test providers thought Helix would give them a national sales channel for their genomics apps, but this didn't materialize.

A company executive confirmed that Helix has laid off an undisclosed number of employees and is closing its Denver and San Francisco offices.

The company, which employs 300 people, axed 30 jobs in the US and 25 jobs from its overseas operations as it refocuses on therapeutic development.

The subsidiary of Canon USA shut down as of Dec. 31 and terminated a distribution agreement with Dutch PCR company Molecular Biology Systems.

Roche said the layoffs at its Madison, Wisconsin site will start Dec. 31 and continue through June 30, 2020.

The company is developing tests based on the analysis of the spatial patterns of chromosomes by tagging and imaging their telomeres.

The company launched in 2013 as a spinout from Boston Children's Hospital to provide genetic diagnostic tests. 

The company said the layoffs are part of a cost-reduction plan that aims to initially cut annual operating expenses by $1.7 million.

The restructuring and job cuts are expected to save the firm more than $70 million annually. 

The decisions are part of the company's restructuring efforts after it was unable to extend deferral of its debt payment with its senior lender.

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The Wall Street Journal looks into FamilyTreeDNA's handling of genetic genealogy searches by law enforcement.

In a point-counterpoint in the Boston Globe, researchers discuss the potential of gene editing to prevent Lyme disease, but also the pitfalls of doing so.

MIT's Technology Review reports that researchers hope to develop a CRISPR-based pain therapy.

In Science this week: atlas of malaria parasites' gene expression across their life cycles, and more.