NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have received a nearly $2 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to identify biomarkers and develop a molecular diagnostic test for onchocerciasis, commonly called river blindness.

The disease, which is caused by the parasitic worm Onchocerca volvulus and causes visual impairment, skin lesions, and severe itching, affects around 37 million people, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa but also in Latin America.

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CNBC reports that Amazon invested in the startup Grail as it sees an opportunity for its cloud computing company in genomics.

Lawrence Krauss writes at Slate that science is needed for good public policy and should not be ignored.

Researchers are working on re-making the yeast genome from scratch, according to the Associated Press.

In Cell this week: functional profiling of Plasmodium genome, a self-inactivating rabies virus, and more.