Startup aims to make allies of human gut’s microbes

It sounds like a preposterous idea: Collect a sample of every type of bacteria that lives in the human gut. But that’s the goal of Bernat Olle, an MIT-trained chemical engineer. Over the past three years, the Cambridge biotech startup he runs, Vedanta Biosciences Inc., has assembled a menagerie of some 60,000 bacteria types.

EzCater connects restaurants with businesses in need of food for a company gathering.

Boston catering marketplace ezCater takes on international expansion

The company announced early Tuesday that it had taken in $100 million in new investment from venture capitalists.

Whitter Street Health Center chief executive Frederica Williams seemed to imply in an e-mail to staff on Sunday that city and state officials had offered funding that would allow her to rehire the employees.

Reinstated Whittier workers say they were blocked from center

Workers at the Whittier Street Health Center who suddenly lost their jobs last week — and then were apparently reintstated Sunday — weren’t allowed into the building Monday.

Boston, MA 12/07/2010-A nurse runs during her shift at the Clinic Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital West Campus. The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Monday in favor of a ballot petition about nurse staffing levels in Massachusetts that is backed by the Massachusetts Nurses Association (Bill Greene/Globe Staff) Library Tag 02132011 National/Foreign

SJC clears measure on nurse staffing ratio for November ballot

The ballot petition is backed by the Massachusetts Nurses Association.

Latest Business headlines

Why are millennials living at home? Housing costs and student debt, for starters

The high cost of housing in the region is forcing some recent college graduates to move back in with mom and dad to save money.

Business agenda

Marketing tips, a panel discussion featuring women in tech, and other events and things to know.

Google, rebuilding its presence in China, invests in retailer

Google’s best-known products have been blocked by authorities in mainland China for years. If the US Internet giant wants that to change someday, then half a billion dollars’ worth of goodwill couldn’t hurt.

MathWorks expansion could bring up to 2,000 new jobs to Natick in the next five years

Three decades ago, Jack Little made a fateful decision to move his software startup from Silicon Valley to Massachusetts in search of engineering talent.

Audi CEO arrested in Germany over diesel emissions scandal

The CEO of Audi, Rupert Stadler, was arrested Monday on suspicion of fraud in relation to the German car maker’s emissions-cheating scandal.


// Sign up for Talking Points

An afternoon recap of the day’s most important business news, delivered Monday through Friday.

The Fine Print

// Submit: Are you a consumer with a question?

Sean P. Murphy is the Globe’s consumer columnist, and he’s here to take your queries.

Globe Magazine

Special section | Game Changers

// 51 bright ideas and breakthroughs for 2017

In a revolutionary place like Boston, innovators and innovations are as common as bad drivers. See who made our annual list.



Watch ‘Runnin’,’ a STAT documentary

“Runnin’,” now available for purchase on Vimeo, takes an intimate look at a group of friends in Somerville who came of age as the opioid epidemic took hold and morphed into a national nightmare. It retraces the lives of friends lost, and one last member of the group struggling to avoid the same fate.

More Business headlines

Procter & Gamble Co. has also teamed up with Katie Couric in support of her new media company.

World’s biggest advertiser P&G to hire more female directors

Procter & Gamble Co. is putting the advertising industry on notice.

Brockton Hospital, here, and other community hospitals would benefit under the Mass. House bill.

Mass. House seeks $450 million to prop up struggling community hospitals

The House bill aims to extend a lifeline to smaller hospitals without a direct hit on taxpayers.

This Sunday, June 17, 2018 photo shows Norman Pearlstine, photographed in Beverly Hills, Calif. Pearlstine, who has spent 50 years in journalism helping shape some of the nation's most prominent publications including Time Inc. magazines, Bloomberg News, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal on Monday, June 18, 2018, was named executive editor of the Los Angeles Times. (Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times via AP)

Norman Pearlstine named editor of the Los Angeles Times

Patrick Soon-Shiong, the billionaire biotech executive who on Monday officially took ownership of The Los Angeles Times, said he seeks to restore the newspaper’s morale.

Illness shouldn’t divide us, Blue Cross CEO says

Bold Types: As chief executive of Blue Cross Blue Shield, Andrew Dreyfus is worried Congress may try to weaken requirements for covering preexisting conditions.

Two Massachusetts brothers settle with FTC over get-rich-quick scheme targeting Amazon sellers

Two Massachusetts brothers and a Nevada man have been ordered by the Federal Trade Commission to pay millions of dollars to victims of the trio’s scheme.

FILE- In this Oct. 19, 2017, file photo, various models of iPhone are displayed during a preview event at an Apple Michigan Avenue store in downtown Chicago. The Supreme Court said Monday, June 18, 2018, that it will consider whether the purchasers of iPhone apps can sue Apple over allegations it has an illegal monopoly on the sale of the apps. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

Apple’s iOS 12 will automatically share location data when people dial 911

Your iPhone will soon be able to share your location data automatically if you ever have to call 911, Apple announced Monday.

Stocks mixed as S&P 500 falls third time in four days; Biogen leads the index lower

US stocks shrugged off early losses and wound up with a mixed finish Monday.

The coastline of Marshfield days after a nor'easter hit in March.

Rising seas could mean 62,000 Mass. homes will face chronic flooding by 2060, report says

By 2060, many homes could flood 26 times or more a year just from high tides, according to data from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Sharon, MA - 6/12/18 - Barry Arntz talks about the $119, 425.61 bill of deferred taxes and interest due to the town of Sharon, for his mother's home. Photo by Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff Topic: 18consumer Reporter: Sean Murphy

Sean P. Murphy | The Fine Print

An inheritance damaged by delayed property taxes

Barry Arntz thought he and his sister owned the house passed down to them by their deceased mother “free and clear” — no mortgages, no liens, no encumbrances of any sort.

Policy on cyberattacks gets more aggressive

The Pentagon has quietly empowered the US Cyber Command to take a far more aggressive approach to defending the nation against cyberattacks.

Wayfair, anticipating rapid growth, leases more office space in the Back Bay

Wayfair, the fast-expanding online retailer, has signed a lease for another 395,000 square feet of office space in the Back Bay.

The week ahead in business

Networking, a conference, and other events and things to know.

ADVANCE FOR USE SUNDAY, APRIL 15 - In this Tuesday, April 3, 2018 photo, Dr/ Robert Pellerin works on polishing and contouring the teeth of a patient at his dental office in Virginia Beach. Va. Pellerin has been a dentist for 40 years and was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis four years ago. Pellerin believes that early exposure to toxic materials prior to the use of protective face masks could be the cause of his disease and he shared his theory with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Kristen Zeis/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

Delta Dental, dentists find common ground on payment rates

A year after sparring over payment rates, Massachusetts dentists and the state’s largest dental insurer have made peace.

The White House says the tariffs are necessary to reset the \US trade relationship with China. Above, President Trump and China’s Xi Jinping in Beijing in 2017.

US and China expand trade war as Beijing vows to match Trump’s tariffs

It’s the latest twist by a White House that has vacillated between taking a tough stance on Chinese trade practices and declaring that the trade war was “on hold.”

Evan Horowitz | Quick Study

Why regional economies still matter

New federal data show just how localized certain types of jobs can be.


Before even an initial interview, do your homework

Be on time, have a resume handy, and be ready for questions about the company.

Fidelity Investments is based in Boston

Fidelity cuts fees on target-date funds

Fidelity Investments is also rolling out new offerings that combine active and passive strategies.

Kate Barrand is chief executive at Horizons for Homeless Children.

Five things you should know about Kate Barrand

At Horizons for Homeless Children she oversees a staff of 115 and more than 1,000 volunteers.


What would she do in these financial conundrums?

The columnist answers readers’ questions on how she would handle situations they find themselves in.

Elizabeth Holmes.

Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes charged with criminal fraud

Holmes, who reigned briefly as the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire, was criminally charged with defrauding investors along with the company’s former president.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.

Baker signs law to boost life sciences by $500 million over 5 years

The measure renews most of the legislation enacted under former governor Deval Patrick a decade ago.

Health center workers rally against layoffs

Dozens of fired workers and their supporters demonstrated outside the Whittier Street Health Center to protest what they say is retaliation for trying to organize a union.

Scott Kirsner | Innovation Economy

How Boston software maker PTC came back from the brink

What did PTC get right? This, after all, is a company that looked to be on the verge of extinction — or at least irrelevance — in 2003.

Matthew and Amy Varrell, owners of the Harvard Alpaca Ranch,  with two of their alpacas.


Running an alpaca ranch is almost too cute

For Matthew and Amy Varrell, there’s cash to be made from cuddly at their Harvard Alpaca Ranch.

People approached a Panera Bread restaurant in Natick.

Judge rules to send Panera peanut allergy case to jury

The case has important implications for restaurants and the nation’s intensifying battle over food allergies.

A parking lot on Long Wharf was one of many stretches of downtown Boston that flooded during a storm in January.

Boston has new rules to help buildings withstand climate change

Memories of the floods that turned downtown streets into rivers are still fresh, and city officials are now pushing developers to make Boston more resilient.

Mario Draghi, the European Central Bank’s president, suggested that policymakers could still ramp up stimulus if they feel the economy needs it.

Era of easy money for eurozone nears its end

The European Central Bank took a major step Thursday toward winding down life support for the eurozone economy.

Kate Strayer-Benton updated an open letter written in 2016 by two female biotech leaders, Karen Bernstein and Kate Bingham, after an earlier industry confab featured scantily clad models dressed as waitresses.

Shirley Leung

In 2018, there is no excuse for topless dancers at a corporate event

We’ve hit a new low when topless female dancers at a corporate gathering are considered as normal as cheap wine and bland hors d’oeuvres.

Senator Patrick Toomey wanted Congress to have a vote on CFIUS decisions.

Senate sides with Trump, votes down GOP plan to expand national security oversight

The vote was another instance of the Senate declining to assert authority over Trump administration decision-making on trade-related issues.

The exterior of the home.

For sale in Melrose: An uninhabitable, fire-ravaged home — for $650,000

A fire-ravaged home in Melrose was listed for nearly $600,000 and is about to go up in price after the sellers received multiple offers in just two weeks.

A worker checked wheel hubs of baby carriages to be exported at a factory in Hangzhou in China's eastern Zhejiang province.

Trump said to shape China tariff list to focus more on high tech

The White House has said the duties will be implemented “shortly” after the release of Friday’s list, though no date has been set.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.

FCC said to eye vote on ownership rules key to Sinclair deal

The Federal Communications Commission’s chairman has said rules limiting how many TV stations a company can own are too restrictive.

Massachusetts General is the largest hospital in the Partners HealthCare network.

Memo highlights tension between some Mass. General doctors, Partners HealthCare

Dr. Walter O’Donnell, who recently resigned from an executive committee at Mass. General, says doctors lack input in key decisions.

Pipe Fitter John Joyce at work at J.C. Cannistraro LLC’s new operation in South Boston.

Long-vacant waterfront building reopens as a construction company’s plumbing-HVAC center

A giant Art Deco structure in Boston’s Raymond L. Flynn Marine Park has sat empty for years. But a Watertown construction company will bring it back to life.

Stocks rise as economy strengthens, central banks step back

Stocks mostly rose Thursday as markets get accustomed to the idea of investing with less of a safety net from the world’s central banks.

Business agenda

Workshops in Adobe Illustrator, Google Analytics, and other events and things to know.

BOSTON, MA - 6/13/2018:Front entrance to the Midtown Hotel in the Back Bay .....A relic of a more auto-centric age, the Midtown Hotel's days are numbered as the Christian Science Church puts its Huntington Ave. site up for sale. (David L Ryan/Globe Staff ) SECTION: BUSINESS TOPIC 14midtown

Boston’s retro-style MidTown Hotel may give way to development

In what has become a neighborhood of swank hotels and sleek skyscrapers, the MidTown remains a reminder of a simpler Boston. But maybe not much longer.

Elon Musk.

Elon Musk to build 125 m.p.h. underground transit line in Chicago

The “Chicago Express Loop” would ferry passengers at speeds between 125 and 150 m.p.h. from the busy airport to the heart of the city, 17 miles away.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell arrives to a news conference after the Federal Open Market Committee meeting, Wednesday, June 13, 2018, in Washington. The Federal Reserve took note of a resilient U.S. economy Wednesday by raising its benchmark interest rate for the second time this year and signaling that it may step up its pace of rate increases. The Fed now foresees four rate hikes this year, up from the three it had previously forecast. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Fed raises interest rates and foresees 3.6 percent unemployment

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point Wednesday and signaled it will raise rates two more times this year, as Fed Chairman Jerome Powell proclaimed the U.S.

Bitcoin’s price was artificially inflated last year, researchers say

A concentrated campaign of price manipulation may have accounted for at least half of the increase in the price of bitcoin and other big cryptocurrencies last year, according to a paper released on Wednesday by an academic with a history of spotting fraud in financial markets.

Photo by Caleb Kenna Maple syrup at Maple Grove Farms of Vermont in St. Johnsbury, the largest packer of Pue Maple Syrup in the country. Thursday January 17. 2001 Library Tag 10122003 Ideas

A battle is happening over whether natural maple syrup has added sugar

Those two little words — added sugars — have set off a raging argument between the FDA and boutique producers of maple syrup and honey.

Tech Lab by Hiawatha Bray


Bray writes about technology for the Business section. His Tech Lab column appears on Thursdays.

Shirley Leung


Leung writes a business column every Wednesday and Friday. Previously she served six years as the business editor overseeing daily and Sunday coverage.