Rumours in its entirityHere at FLG we’re a big fan of rumours. By which we of course mean the legendary Fleetwood Mac album, regularly played in it’s entirety while we’re working on the latest issue of our magazine. But whether you are listening to Rumours, or simply spreading them, take a break with our round up of the hottest gossip in biotech.

Thermo Fisher rumored to make $30B bid for Illumina

$30 billion is a significant chunk of change, but probably worth it for an 80% share of the global sequencing market. But this exciting tidbit, first reported by StreetInsider.com from an undisclosed source, has sent the biotech rumour mill into overdrive. Illumina’s stock rose by 8% as the rumour spread, but investment analysts have been quick to quash it. Illumina has seen off various acquisition bids in the past, so for now we wait with interest to see whether this particular rumour has more to it than hot air. 

Lies, damn lies, and CRISPR: the legal battle escalates

There are millions of dollars in legal fees and commercial leverage on the line, not to mention potential Nobel Prizes and the adulation of the scientific world on the table. So it’s not surprising that the patent dispute around CRISPR has turned mean. A former graduate student from the Broad Institute claims that the MIT-Harvard institution has misled the patent office by claiming to have invented CRISPR gene-editing, MIT Tech Review reports. Ding ding! Let the cage match commence.

Video: Zebra finch call prepares their eggs for climate change

This is just too cute not to include. Zebra finch parents prepare their offspring for a warming world while they are still in egg-form by singing specific songs to them. This is the first time that any animal has been observed using sound to affect the lifetime fitness of their offspring. “The study is novel, surprising, and fascinating, and is sure to lead to much more work on parent-embryo communication,” says Robert Magrath, a behavioral ecologist at the Australian National University in Canberra who was not involved in the study.

The science of Star Wars

I’m the kind of person who makes a habit of re-watching the entire sequence of films periodically (top tip: machete order is your friend). So panels of experts debating key questions such as the plausibility of light speed travel, lightsabers, and even the Force itself, was always going to find a home in this roundup. And I hear that the weather is due to be pretty foul in the UK this weekend, so all that remains is to prep the popcorn and get ready to be transported to that galaxy far, far away.

And one from us…

All hail the genomics capital of the world!

Many hours, and many cycles of Fleetwood Mac later, the latest issue of Front Line Genomics magazine is here. We take a tour of San Diego, the city out to become the genomics capital of the world; Roger Lasken shows us the secret life of cells; Stephen Kingsmore shares the excitement of super speed genetic diagnosis; and Atul Butte has inspiring advice for the next generation of biotech entrepreneurs. Get your digital copy here!