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

Popular Mechanics reports that Caltech researchers have built a prototype nanobot using DNA.

The Sacramento Bee writes that direct-to-consumer genetic testing connected a woman to sperm donor-conceived half siblings.

In PLOS this week: gene expression catalog for sheep, viral diversity among respiratory samples from camels, and more.