The US Government’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency is offering a $1 million award for programs that can analyze samples containing mixed segments of genetic sequences generated by next-generation sequencing instruments.

According to DTRA, these algorithms should be able to suss out the identities of each organism represented in the sample and characterize all non-host organisms.

The challenge will provide datasets from Roche 454, Illumina, Pacific Biosystems PacBio RS, and Life Technologies Ion Torrent PGM sequencers.

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In PNAS this week: human cytomegalovirus diversity, patterns of homologous recombination in E. coli, and more.

US lawmakers are considering eliminating the medical devices tax that is part of the Affordable Care Act.

Two research teams in China home in on a gene that gives rice a long, slender shape.

Marcia McNutt, the editor-in-chief of Science, has been nominated to become president of the US National Academy of Sciences.