NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Scientists at three universities will use $6 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health to conduct genomics research on plants that may have properties that could be used in developing new drugs, according to Michigan State University.

The stimulus funding Grand Opportunity grant from NIH, which was awarded to MSU, The University of Kentucky, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will be used to understand how certain plants make medicinal compounds.

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In Nature this week: omic analysis of permafrost microbes, hookworm genome, and more.

Biologists turn to environmental DNA sampling to determine whether elusive or invasive species are shedding DNA in a given area.

Rob Knight writes at Scientific American that microbiome studies are about to break out of the laboratory.

Harold Varmus, the director of the National Cancer Institute, has announced that he is stepping down after nearly five years.