Quest Diagnostics has been awarded US Patent No. 8,346,485, "Methods and apparatuses for estimating initial target nucleic acid concentration in a sample by modeling background signal and cycle-dependent amplification efficiency of a polymerase chain reaction."

Benedict Archer is named as inventor.

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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.