Spotlight On... George Church's Veritas starts $999 whole-genome sequencing service; Google's Verily plans 1,000-person hiring spree; Scotland joins 100,000 Genomes Project; and more...

Veritas Genomics, the genetic screening business cofounded by George Church, has begun offering a whole-genome sequencing service for $999. For that price, which is less than the $1,000 figure that was the industry's holy grail for years, Veritas is providing interpretation and genetic counseling, as well as whole-genome sequencing. Veritas sees the price point as a direct challenge to gene panels, exome sequencing and other genetic tests. "The whole genome is the new standard," Veritas CEO Mirza Cifric said in a statement. "At this price point, there is no reason to use anything but the whole genome, especially for any tests that are close to or more than the price of our whole genome." Release (PDF)

> Google's ($GOOG) life science unit Verily revealed it plans to hire 1,000 people in the coming months. Piece

> Scotland joined the 100,000 Genomes Project and invested $8.5 million in the venture. News

> Google engineers began working with UNICEF to predict the spread of the Zika virus. Article

> Promeditec picked Verizon ($VZ) Cloud to host its clinical trial setup and management software. Item

> Purdue Pharma led an initiative to identify errors in major online compendiums of drug information. Release

> Microsoft ($MSFT) teamed up with BC Platforms to work on a cloud-based genomic data management system. More

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