Flagship Ventures

The new firm will be based in the Boston area and is co-founded by MD Anderson Professor Raghu Kalluri and Broad Institute Director Eric Lander.

Movers & Shakers

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Glenn Barney, Dario Alessi, Philip Cohen, Stephane Bancel, Noubar Afeyan

Silicon Valley remained the top US cluster with $210 million in first-quarter venture capital, down a little over 16 percent from the $251 million racked up a year earlier. New England's $149 million in biopharma VC marked a nearly 32 percent fall-off.

"We don't want to be part of a commodity market with a lot of close competition," said Peer Stähler, Febit's chief scientific officer. "There are at least 20 companies worldwide that are competing to sell the cheapest genes."

The new preliminary prospectus offers for sale around 9.6 million shares by shareholders of the firm. Helicos won't receive any proceeds from the sale.

Seahorse Bioscience this week announced that it has acquired BioProcessors for an undisclosed sum, and will use the company's tools to help expand its footprint in the biologic drug-manufacturing arena, while maintaining its footprint in the cell-based assay market.

Seahorse acquired the maker of the SimCell System, a fully integrated cell culture automation system used for selecting clones, optimizing media, and determining the best process conditions for protein manufacturing, for an undisclosed sum. It also raised $6 million in funding from VC investors.

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Life Technologies, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, 454 Life Sciences, Applied Biosystems, Baylor College of Medicine, University of Bristol, University of Liverpool, John Innes Centre, Helicos BioSciences, Febit, and more…

Helicos filed the prospectus for 68.4 million shares held by investors who participated in a private placement in December. The firm would receive none of the proceeds from the sale of those shares, if any of them are sold.

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Two researchers have found that behavioral genetic defenses in criminal cases don't tend to affect outcomes, according to Popular Science.

Researchers report that while host genetics influence the oral microbiome, they don't appear to affect cavity-causing microbes, the Economist says.

Pandas' gut microbiomes change as what they eat changes with the seasons, writes Discover's Inkfish blog.

In PLOS this week: comparative genomic study of malaria-linked macaque parasite, search for apple root reference genes, and more.