By Monica Heger

This story was originally published Jan. 5.

Next-gen sequencing could find a new application in synthetic biology — as a sample-prep step to make DNA for gene synthesis. Scientists from the German company Febit are looking to spin out a new company that would commercialize a new method of DNA synthesis based on the approach, which they say could reduce the price of synthetic DNA by several fold.

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CNBC reports that Amazon invested in the startup Grail as it sees an opportunity for its cloud computing company in genomics.

Lawrence Krauss writes at Slate that science is needed for good public policy and should not be ignored.

Researchers are working on re-making the yeast genome from scratch, according to the Associated Press.

In Cell this week: functional profiling of Plasmodium genome, a self-inactivating rabies virus, and more.