Investment firm William Blair and Company began covering Pacific Biosciences this week with a "Market Perform" rating, but estimated that sales of the company's RS machine will be slightly below consensus estimates.

The firm predicted PacBio will ship 46 instruments in 2011, 125 in 2012, and 170 in 2013, which is 99 fewer total instruments than the 440 machines analysts previously predicted PacBio will ship by 2013.

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Rare gene mutations are guiding the search for drugs to manage chronic pain without opioids, according to CNBC.

The new Francis Crick Institute building can get too noisy for some researchers to concentrate, according to the Guardian.

CBS News reports that there are still many vacancies at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, but that it's uncertain whether they will be filled.

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: pipeline to analyze and visualize bacterial genomes, database of global set of human genomes, and more.