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NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The German federal state of Hesse is funding a new center to study the genomics of biodiversity with €17.6 million ($20 million) over four years, the state ministry for science and the arts said last week.

The funding, which will commence in 2018, is part of a €66.5 million round under a grant program called LOEWE that supports the development of scientific and economic excellence in the state of Hesse.

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Kelvin Droegemeier, the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, is the new acting director of the US National Science Foundation.

An opinion piece at the Guardian discusses the state of SARS-CoV-2 testing in the UK.

Wired reports the University of California, Berkeley's Innovative Genomics Institute has transformed itself into a diagnostic lab to run SARS-CoV-2 tests.

In Nature this week: direct-capture Perturb-seq approach for combinatorial single-cell CRISPR screens, potential uses of genome-editing in breeding crops, and more.

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