By Uduak Grace Thomas

As the world bids farewell to another year, observers of the life science informatics sector will remember 2011 for some surprise acquisitions, an influx of newcomers to the next-generation sequence analysis space, and continued efforts to develop new software tools for clinical data analysis and personalized medicine.

In addition, the ongoing economic slump forced some bioinformatics providers to pinch pennies and pare down their activities while others closed up shop permanently.

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Researchers report that deleting one gene from butterflies affects their wing coloration patterns, according to the Washington Post.

The Seattle Times writes that pharmacogenomics testing can help choose medications that may work best for people with depression.

In PNAS this week: genome sequencing of weevil symbionts, retinoid X receptor deletion in lung cancer metastasis, and more.

Sequencing could help combat foodborne illnesses, according to a blog post by Food and Drug Administration officials.