Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Soil Startup

An agricultural technology startup is analyzing customers' soil to ascertain what microbes are present there, Forbes reports.

Such information can play into farmers' decisions on what to grow in different fields. "Knowing the information around the healthy, beneficial and the pathogenic microbes are critical to being able to inform those decisions," Trace Genomics cofounder Diane Wu tells Forbes.

So far, Trace Genomics says it has analyzed more than 10,000 different soil samples, including ones from the fields of large growers like the strawberry producer Driscoll. Producers, co-founder Poornima Parameswaran says, are typically interested in learning why certain fields are low producing and whether they will be receptive to treatments they are planning on using or varietals they are going to plant.

 Wu adds that they've also been able to use their approach to develop a diagnostic test for the lettuce disease Fusarium wilt, which has been affecting growers in Yuma and Salinas. "And there was no test on the market to really specifically test for that disease," she says. "This year, we were able to launch the first diagnostic for that disease to help them assess the disease's pressures on their field."

The Scan

Topical Compound to Block EGFR Inhibitors May Ease Skin Toxicities, Study Finds

A topical treatment described in Science Translational Medicine may limit skin toxicities seen with EGFR inhibitor therapy.

Dozen Genetic Loci Linked to Preeclampsia Risk in New GWAS

An analysis of genome-wide association study data in JAMA Cardiology finds genetic loci linked to preeclampsia that have ties to blood pressure.

Cancer Survival Linked to Mutational Burden in Pan-Cancer Analysis

A pan-cancer paper appearing in JCO Precision Oncology suggests tumor mutation patterns provide clues for predicting cancer survival that are independent of other prognostic factors.

Australian Survey Points to Public Support for Genetic Risk Disclosure in Relatives of At-Risk Individuals

A survey in the European Journal of Human Genetics suggests most adult Australians are in favor of finding out if a relative tests positive for a medically actionable genetic variant.