Monsanto said this week that it has signed a two-year collaboration with Pasadena-based computational biology startup Protabit to develop new software tools for high-throughput protein design and optimization.

Monstanto will use the software to help genetically engineer crops.

Under the agreement, for which no financial terms were released, Protabit will integrate computational approaches for protein optimization that will allow for the exchange of information across platforms and offer better ways to include new data, Monsanto said.

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Two researchers have found that behavioral genetic defenses in criminal cases don't tend to affect outcomes, according to Popular Science.

Researchers report that while host genetics influence the oral microbiome, they don't appear to affect cavity-causing microbes, the Economist says.

Pandas' gut microbiomes change as what they eat changes with the seasons, writes Discover's Inkfish blog.

In PLOS this week: comparative genomic study of malaria-linked macaque parasite, search for apple root reference genes, and more.