NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Alere said today that it has been awarded a grant of up to $21.6 million and debt financing of up to $20.6 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to further develop a pair of point-of-care molecular testing platforms.

Under the $21.6 million grant, Alere will develop a tuberculosis assay designed for use in both resource-poor and industrialized settings.

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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.