NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Abbott reported this morning that its first-quarter molecular diagnostics sales increased around 1 percent year over year, while its overall diagnostics revenues climbed a little more than 4 percent.

The pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, and medical devices firm had total revenues of $5.38 billion, up 2 percent from $5.28 billion for the first quarter of 2012. Sales for its diagnostics business, overall, were $1.09 billion.

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In Nature this week: omic analysis of permafrost microbes, hookworm genome, and more.

Biologists turn to environmental DNA sampling to determine whether elusive or invasive species are shedding DNA in a given area.

Rob Knight writes at Scientific American that microbiome studies are about to break out of the laboratory.

Harold Varmus, the director of the National Cancer Institute, has announced that he is stepping down after nearly five years.