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Biotech

Submission + - Monsanto may have to repay 10 years of GM soya royalties in Brazil (nature.com)

scibri writes: Biotech giant Monsanto is one step closer to losing billions of dollars in revenues from its genetically-modified Roundup Ready soya beans, after the Brazilian Supreme Court ruled the company must repay royalties collected over the past decade.

Since GM crops were legalized in 2005, Monsanto has charged Brazilian farmers royalties of 2% on their sales of Roundup Ready soya beans. The company also tests Brazilian soya beans that are sold as non-GM — if they turn out to be Roundup Ready, the company charges the farmers 3%. Farmers challenged this as an an unjust tax on their business.

In April a regional court ruled against Monsanto, though that ruling has been put on hold pending an appeal. The Supreme Court, meanwhile has said that whatever the final ruling is, it will apply throughout the whole country.

Businesses

Submission + - SEC calls for review of Facebook IPO (theage.com.au)

beaverdownunder writes: After losing another 8.9% of it's IPO value in its third day of trading, SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro has called for a review of the circumstances surrounding Facebook's IPO on the NASDAQ late last week.

Unable to sell Facebook short, investors have instead taken to short-selling funds that owned pre-IPO shares as revelations come out that the underwriters involved revised their Facebook profit forecasts downward in the days before the offering without similarly revising the opening share price.

Meanwhile, Thomson Reuters Starmine has come out with a post-party Facebook estimate of a meagre 10.8 per cent annual growth rate, valuing the stock at a paltry $US9.59 a share, a 72 per cent discount on its IPO price, signalling that the battered stock may not have found the bottom yet.

Data Storage

Submission + - Stanford bioengineers create rewritable digital data storage in DNA (moneyscience.com)

An anonymous reader writes: You don't hear too much about biological computing but in research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences scientists reveal they have devised the genetic equivalent of a binary digit — a "bit" in data parlance.

"It took us three years and 750 tries to make it work, but we finally did it," according to Jerome Bonnet, of research which describes, a method for repeatedly encoding, storing and erasing digital data within the DNA of living cells.

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