Orchid BioSciences has appointed James Beery to its board of directors. Currently, he is senior counsel to the law firm Covington & Burling, where he specializes in pharmaceutical and biotechnology matters.

Before joining Covington & Burling in 2002, Beery was senior vice president and general counsel of GlaxoSmithKline. He also was senior vice president of general counsel and corporate secretary of SmithKline Beecham for seven years before the firm was acquired by Glaxo Wellcome in 2000.

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The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is investing in Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's BioRxiv.

A study appearing in PLOS One finds that shortened consent forms don't affect clinical trial participants' understanding of the study.

The National Security Agency monitored signal intelligence for signs of "nefarious" genetic engineering projects, Gizmodo reports.

In Nature this week: barley genome sequenced, method for genotyping and phasing short tandem repeats, and more.