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Managing the Business of Science

The UK's University College London Business is a unique technology-transfer company that manages the institution's research portfolio, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. While some of the hundreds of projects the firm manages are profitable for the university, others may take many years before they make money. Some may never make a profit for the school at all. But the director of the business unit says that profits are not the "holy grail." University College London Business, which generated revenues of about $21.7 million last year, helps researchers get proof-of-concept grants and licenses for their inventions, focusing on those that have "societal and economic benefits," according to the Chronicle. The firm's portfolio blends "financially profitable and socially relevant" projects by design. The Chronicle adds that this approach could serve as a model for American universities looking to profit from technology transfer and promote their local economies at the same time.

The Scan

Study Finds Sorghum Genetic Loci Influencing Composition, Function of Human Gut Microbes

Focusing on microbes found in the human gut microbiome, researchers in Nature Communications identified 10 sorghum loci that appear to influence the microbial taxa or microbial metabolite features.

Treatment Costs May Not Coincide With R&D Investment, Study Suggests

Researchers in JAMA Network Open did not find an association between ultimate treatment costs and investments in a drug when they analyzed available data on 60 approved drugs.

Sleep-Related Variants Show Low Penetrance in Large Population Analysis

A limited number of variants had documented sleep effects in an investigation in PLOS Genetics of 10 genes with reported sleep ties in nearly 192,000 participants in four population studies.

Researchers Develop Polygenic Risk Scores for Dozens of Disease-Related Exposures

With genetic data from two large population cohorts and summary statistics from prior genome-wide association studies, researchers came up with 27 exposure polygenic risk scores in the American Journal of Human Genetics.