Roche's 454 Life Sciences and Malaysian companies Sime Darby and Synamatix have sequenced and assembled the genome of the oil palm, 454 said today.

According to 454, this is the first de novo assembly of a large, complex plant genome to be completed only with second-generation sequencing data, without the use of Sanger sequence reads.

Palm oil is used in food, health supplements, cosmetics, and as a biofuel, and Sime Darby operates palm oil and rubber plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia.

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Consulting company McKinsey says diagnostics companies will have to combine genomic data analysis, electronic medical records, effective reimbursement strategies, and regulatory compliance in order to win.

A new report has found that researchers in Africa are still heavily dependent on funding from organizations in the US, Europe, and China, Nature News says.

An article in The Atlantic argues that the progress being made in science isn't keeping pace with the money and time being spent on research.

In Science this week: a CRISPR screen identifies sideroflexin 1 as a requisite component of one-carbon metabolism, and more.