In a time when early-stage funds are nearly non-existent and deep-pocketed investors are on the sidelines, hands over their wallets, Genomatica of San Diego is executing on a business plan that goes beyond penny-pinching bootstrap models.

Last week, the 12-employee systems biology startup that began operations in June 2000 announced a research agreement with Dow Chemical, its first commercial project. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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Technology Review reports that researchers in the US have used CRISPR to modify a number of human embryos.

Plant researchers plan to sequence some 10,000 samples that represent the major plant clades, ScienceInsider reports.

By introducing genes from butterfly peas and Canterbury bells, researchers in Japan have developed a blue chrysanthemum, according to NPR.

In Nature this week: a Danish reference genome, and more.