Agilent Technologies this week posted a 25 percent year-over-year increase in revenues for the first quarter of 2011, including a 19 percent rise in revenues in its Life Sciences segment.

The Life Sciences jump was driven by strong sales in liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry platforms due in part to an acceleration in the instrument replacement cycle, CEO Bill Sullivan said on an investor call discussing the company's earnings.

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Technology Review reports that researchers in the US have used CRISPR to modify a number of human embryos.

By introducing genes from butterfly peas and Canterbury bells, researchers in Japan have developed a blue chrysanthemum, according to NPR.

Plant researchers plan to sequence some 10,000 samples that represent the major plant clades, ScienceInsider reports.

In Nature this week: a Danish reference genome, and more.