Biosearch Technologies said yesterday that it has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant from the Department of Defense to further design and develop quantitative PCR-based assays for pathogens of military importance.

The grant, worth more than $750,000, will support the development of qRT-PCR primers and probes to detect six rickettsial pathogens, four of which are listed in the top 25 of the Global Risk Severity Index compiled by the Armed Forces Medical Intelligence Center, Biosearch said.

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While gene therapies may have high price tags, they could be cheaper than the cost of managing disease, according to MIT's Technology Review.

Researchers are looking for markers that indicate which cancer patients may respond to immunotherapies, the Associated Press writes.

In Nature this week: paternal age associated with de novo mutations in children, and more.

Nature News writes that researchers are still wrangling over the role of the p-value.