Microsoft’s involvement in bioinformatics has been on the rise over the last few years, but it appears that the company is in no rush to enter the commercial discovery informatics market — even as it devotes more resources to downstream components of the pharmaceutical pipeline.

Last week, the desktop software giant launched its so-called Digital Pharma initiative, a “solutions framework” that relies on open standards, Web services, and products from Microsoft and its partner companies to help pharmaceutical firms collaborate and share information.

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 Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who chairs the Senate health committee, will be retiring at the end of his term, Stat News reports.

UCSF researchers find that having two X chromosomes may contribute to women's longer lifespans, according to Discover's D-brief blog.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's use of genetic approaches to study foodborne illnesses.

In PNAS this week: immune cell profiling of wild baboons by social status, metabolomics profiling of esophageal tumors, and more.